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Old 03-02-2015, 16:49   #121
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
I've been in two WM stores in the last month in different states. Didn't see any big difference in merchandise or in sailing equipment available. No"boating boutique" or Gap" evidence in either.

I'm wondering if one guy posts some conjecture and it triggered an outbreak of SAD (sailing affected disorder equiv to seasonally affected disorder) coupled with some latent paranoia.

Regardless, it wouldbe more constructive to voice any valid concerns to their management than whine about it here.
I think it's safe to assume that WM management already realizes that boat owners trying to outfit their boat want/need a place to buy the necessary boat parts, but they also have figured that they can make more money from lifestyle items so are going in that direction. I really don't have anything to tell them that I'm sure they don't already know so I don't know how constructive any conversation with them might be. They made a conscious decision to no longer stock the parts many of us want to buy in favor of making more money off clothing, etc. because it has a higher margin.

If you're really still wondering if this is paranoia or just "one guy posts conjecture" after so many pages of this thread, I'd say you're not too interested in finding out what's really going on at WM because it's not something that WM management is making any attempt to keep secret. Or, you simply could walk into one of their medium sized stores and notice how their sailing hardware section has shrunk and their clothing section has been expanded.
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Old 03-02-2015, 16:54   #122
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Unfortunately, West seems to be trying to be apparel suppliers rather than marine suppliers. While I understand the business strategy in the face of an increasingly online sales world, they've abandoned their core market. For years, me car automatically pulled into the West Marine Parking lot, walked into the store, got my question answered by a knowledgeable person, my wallet jumped out of my pocket, and I walked out with part I needed or a shackle, block or widget that looked good. No More...
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Old 14-02-2015, 08:22   #123
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Just a note for those that think WM is dropping the support of sailing in the new age of the business..
The New Cataloge just hit the shelves and the sailing section is the largest ever, and falls 2nd in size of all departments of the cataloge, behind Electronics as 1st.
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Old 14-02-2015, 08:57   #124
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Just a note for those that think WM is dropping the support of sailing in the new age of the business..
The New Cataloge just hit the shelves and the sailing section is the largest ever, and falls 2nd in size of all departments of the cataloge, behind Electronics as 1st.

It's the store stock that is important to me. It's easy to list stuff in your catalogue. The value of West to me is that they are open all day Saturday, and, most important, all day Sunday. I'm willing to pay their premium price for the convenience of their extended hours. If I have to order it, I'll buy it from Defender every time.


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Old 14-02-2015, 10:36   #125
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I have spent far more at West Marine than I ever expected when I returned to sailing 8 years ago. This has been driven by not only "convenience" purchases, but also watching the sales and checking online periodically. Any of my online purchases are delivered via the local store. Nearly all of my capital improvement spending goes elsewhere, though, particularly in the Defender direction. Fortunately, the "kids" added to staff during the boating season in recent years were active sail race crew members. Unfortunately, they are completing college this year and probably won't be back. With two adjacent WM stores closed in recent years, perhaps the one near my marina will survive. Perhaps not, as it has minimal off-season traffic. The irony is that, if it does die, much of the DIY owner traffic will go to the chandlery of a family-owned, sailing-oriented yard 8 miles down the road. Deja vu!
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Old 14-02-2015, 22:30   #126
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Originally Posted by Cuttyhunk View Post
It's the store stock that is important to me. It's easy to list stuff in your catalogue. The value of West to me is that they are open all day Saturday, and, most important, all day Sunday. I'm willing to pay their premium price for the convenience of their extended hours. If I have to order it, I'll buy it from Defender every time.


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Not defending WM but in defence of the "local" business in your area, when you say "If I have to order it, I'll buy it from Defender every time."
You deserve for your local store to close down on you with an attitude like that, whoever they are.. someday you'll go knocking on the store open on Sunday only to find a "close due to lack of support" sign posted on their front door.
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Old 15-02-2015, 00:18   #127
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Not defending WM but in defence of the "local" business in your area, when you say "If I have to order it, I'll buy it from Defender every time."
You deserve for your local store to close down on you with an attitude like that, whoever they are.. someday you'll go knocking on the store open on Sunday only to find a "close due to lack of support" sign posted on their front door.
Support is a two way street. 8-10 years ago I was quite happy to patronize a chandlery closest to me even though it was not the cheapest even compared to WM. But when their stock dwindled and 3/4 of the items which I came to get (or called about) were not in stock and had to be ordered and the wait was same as ordering online - I stopped going there. Few years later they went out of business. But it wasn't because they lacked loyal customers. I understand that keeping a decent inventory is expensive. But loosing customers, IMO, is even more expensive.
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Old 24-02-2015, 18:21   #128
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

I heard that following the success of 50 Shades of Gray, WM is opening a BDSM aisle.


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Old 24-02-2015, 18:27   #129
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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I'm willing to pay their premium price for the convenience of their extended hours. If I have to order it, I'll buy it from Defender every time.
Check your prices. The last three significant purchases I made, West Marine was cheaper than Defender, Ebay, or Amazon when all was said and done.

Not sure if Defender has raised their prices, West has dropped them, or a combination of both.
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Old 24-02-2015, 18:28   #130
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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I heard that following the success of 50 Shades of Gray, WM is opening a BDSM aisle.
They already have one. They sell all kinds of neat rope, cleats, etc...
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Old 24-02-2015, 19:41   #131
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Check your prices. The last three significant purchases I made, West Marine was cheaper than Defender, Ebay, or Amazon when all was said and done.

Not sure if Defender has raised their prices, West has dropped them, or a combination of both.
Beats me how you can say that. Here are price comparisons from their websites of a few common sailboat items:

1/2" Samson LS D 89c W $1.30
3/8" Samson Warpspeed D $2.50 W $3.27
Gill OS1 Jacket D $595 W $595
Icom 324G VHF D $235 W $260
1 gallon Pettit Trinidad D $240 W $285
Mustang Life Jacket 3183 D $290 W $355
Manson Supreme 45 lb D $490 W $520
8 hp Mercury D $1800 W $2000
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Old 24-02-2015, 20:19   #132
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Beats me how you can say that. Here are price comparisons from their websites of a few common sailboat items:

1/2" Samson LS D 89c W $1.30
3/8" Samson Warpspeed D $2.50 W $3.27
Gill OS1 Jacket D $595 W $595
Icom 324G VHF D $235 W $260
1 gallon Pettit Trinidad D $240 W $285
Mustang Life Jacket 3183 D $290 W $355
Manson Supreme 45 lb D $490 W $520
8 hp Mercury D $1800 W $2000
Because Defender charges shipping. After you figure in the cost of shipping, many of the items you listed are cheaper at West if bought in store.

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Old 24-02-2015, 20:26   #133
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

Well I sure wouldn't buy a pail of anchor chain from Defender. The freight would be a killer.
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Old 24-02-2015, 21:22   #134
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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Because Defender charges shipping. After you figure in the cost of shipping, many of the items you listed are cheaper at West if bought in store.

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If you buy in a WM store, you'll have to pay sales tax in most states, but if you order from Defender and shipped to a location outside CT, you will not be charged sales tax. Depending on the item, the sales tax savings can pay for shipping so Defender still maintains a price advantage on most items. Also, since WM doesn't carry many items in stock, you'll probably have to wait just as long and then spend money for gas, etc. to drive to the WM store to pick it up once it arrives, which also adds to your total cost, depending on just how close to your home your "local" WM store is located.
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Old 24-02-2015, 22:11   #135
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Re: West Marine changing strategies: likely de-emphasising sailing related support

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If you buy in a WM store, you'll have to pay sales tax in most states, but if you order from Defender and shipped to a location outside CT, you will not be charged sales tax. Depending on the item, the sales tax savings can pay for shipping so Defender still maintains a price advantage on most items. Also, since WM doesn't carry many items in stock, you'll probably have to wait just as long and then spend money for gas, etc. to drive to the WM store to pick it up once it arrives, which also adds to your total cost, depending on just how close to your home your "local" WM store is located.
Right.. If I need anything that WM doesnt have in stock. It is faster (and easier) to get it from defender (here in MA).

If I order early enough, it is shipped out the same day, and usually on my doorstep in under 24 hours, at worst 2 days. But it is delivered to my door.

Unless WM changed their policy (too lazy to look it up, its been a while since i ordered an item in the store), when in the store, and you find the item is out of stock (or not stocked), they have to place an order. pay for it, wait 1-2 days (if not more) then make a second trip back to the store to pick it up. so that is 2 trips to the store and several days wasted at best.

Pay higher price. waste more time, sales tax is often higher than the (very reasonable) shipping cost from defender.

I often do go to a WM for a just in time part for a project. Most of the time its out of stock, and it takes longer to get the item in my hand than from defender...and got to pay a premium compared to other retailers!

Less convenient and cost more..whats not to like??!
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