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New CEO for West Marine

 
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thataway



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject: New CEO for West Marine Reply with quote

West Marine dismissed their CEO a few weeks ago. Today Ken Seipel was appointed as the new CEO. He has most of his experience with retail clothing: Wet Seal, Gap, Target and JC Penny. The only boating experience I can find, is that he may have done some Kayaking and was involved with small pontoon boats. One other in his favor (at least my son would say so,) was that he lived at Capistrano Beach, near San Clemente, CA.

Hopefully he will keep the.company focused toward boating, rather than clothing!!!!

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Thataway
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chimoii



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That appointment makes a lot of business sense. The West Marine stores in Canada have been closed for a little over a year now because they were simply not economic. Sales of basic boating product are now simply a method to draw people into the stores where they can be attracted toward purchase of the profitable items such as clothing, shoes, Yeti cooler cups etc. etc.. The traditional chandlery items are more and more online purchases. To make that model work requires a large footprint outside of a high rent area as well as enough population in the catchment area. Many small stores have also closed around the United States. The one I miss most was in Friday Harbor. Though there is a store in Anacortes that is quite a trip for me and when I look at its size I wonder how long it will last. The big stores in Florida have much more of a chance.
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thataway



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the last year West Marine has been far better in price matching online prices...may be why the performance is not what the BOD/owners want (West Marine is owned by Monomoy Capital Partners.) The private investment group wants either more return on their investment, or to bring the value of West Marine up--so it can be sold for a profit. West Marine seems to be trying to be competitive in the online market place. But they are not really competitive with Amazon, and some other retailers. The costs are very high with the multiple brick and mortar stores. At the time of the purchase in Oct. 2017 Matt Hyde, who had been with West Marine for 5 years, and previously had been with REI for 26 years left the company.

In 2016 Boating supplies made up 78% of West Marine's sales. The marine industry has a very high markup--over 60%. West Marine's is even higher, on the "house brand" items--and they have a lot of the supplies made in their house brand--many from china...I don't know what retail clothing mark up is--and I suspect it varies by item and store.
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ssobol



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The FLL WM superstore recently renovated. Previously the floor space was about 50% boat stuff and 50% other things. Now the boating area is smaller and the "other things" area is bigger. Other includes the clothing, but also watersports, diving, clothing, fishing gear, and SUPs.

If you go to BOW down the street it is a smaller store, but it is pretty much almost 100% boating supplies and parts (and the prices are usually a lot better).
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AstoriaDave



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Astoria, Englund Marine is the sole source for boating needs. It is one of the few family owned marine supply outfits around, with seven retail stores spread along the coast from Eureka to Westport, WA, having a heavy commercial component, dollarwise. Much of their clothing and footwear also is oriented to commercial fishermen. That base allows them to float a lot of inventory that crosses over, as well as other inventory oriented toward sport fishermen. Ten years back they also acquired an industrial supply company. And, have distributorships in Portland OR, Montana (very small), and one in Arizona.

By diversifying in that way, they are able to sell a lot of gear at prices competitive with Fisheries Supply ... and on many high volume items, consistently beat WM.

Oddly enough, they were quite slow to develop a web presence, but now have a pretty decent one.

While Becky was working for them, I avoided touting them here. Now that she is retired, I do not stand to benefit if others here shop at EM. If you are in Astoria, it is worth it to visit their home store, with 40,000 SF all told, about 60 percent of that devoted to retail. It is a no nonsense operation.

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hardee



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was recently in the Portland OR store. WOW, lots more clothes than I remembered from before. In Port Townsend, and On the phone at 1800 Boating I asked about stores closing ( since I found the one in Friday harbor closed ) and was told the small ones are getting closed and they are opening up some bigger stores in new markets, but mostly in the east and southeast.

I still think their service is good, at least in the 2 stores I frequent, listed above.

Harvey
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starcrafttom



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stopped going to west marine for three reasons. 1) the Ceo writing a oped a few years ago about how bad motors boats were and how they should be gotten rid of 2) the stores are priced too high, no one working there knows a dam thing about boats other then what shoes work best on a sail boat . Just not a useful store for me anymore.
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colbysmith



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it really depends on the local store. The Madison store has mostly knowledgable people working there that have their own boats or have grown up around boats. They've also never given me grief about returning a product (even though they are usually bought online from West Marine). I suppose in the end, it has a lot to do with the local manager. Just like restaurants and so many other stores. Colby
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hardee



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Several years, the crew at Port Townsend WM were mostly live aboards. 3 or 4 out of about 5. That was when i was new to the power boat side. Often had them asking me "Why would I switch".

Harvey
SleepyC Moon

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chromer



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

starcrafttom wrote:
I stopped going to west marine for three reasons. 1) the Ceo writing a oped a few years ago about how bad motors boats were and how they should be gotten rid of 2) the stores are priced too high, no one working there knows a dam thing about boats other then what shoes work best on a sail boat . Just not a useful store for me anymore.


Hopefully Mr Seipel knows to over drill and backfill with epoxy Xmas Tongue

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