Originally Posted by killarney_sailor
Dumb question- are West stores company owned or franchises?
All the stores are company owned. BUT, if you go to some of the smaller stores, local for my anyhow Shilshoal, Gig Harbor, blaine, Port townsend to name a few vs Seattle-westlake, Tacoma or Anacortes, those smaller stores really only have the mgr and maybe one or two other full time people, so at that point, you are pretty much working with an owner type person. As they get raises, bonus's etc based on how that store does in overall sales and profits.
When there was one local, edmonds for me, I did buy a lot of stuff from Doug who is now the mgr at Shilshoal, very knowledgeable person. Granted teh store was small, but he could price equal or would see what he could do when you bought $500-1000 of stuff for a refit or equal. He did what he could, still does at shilshoal to get the sale. Westlake it is possible to do so, but the smaller ones will be easier persay.
As mentioned, if you have a company or any sort, you can get a port supply account, and get more off the normal depending upon how much you buy. I've seen discounts as much as 30-40% depending upon how much you buy per year, and what the item is. Electronics frankly, no matter where you got, profit margins are pretty skinny. Clothing is another story, as are some other items.
Also as mentioned, locally Fisheries is pretty good, but the last 3-5 yrs there have been some lower quantity supply issues etc......where as the local WM's are overall doing a better job. Both local bigger suppliers ea have plus and minus's to there operations. Fisheries if you belong to some of the local YC's that have cash accounts setup, you can get % discounts depending upon what the overall membership buys, more $$, more % off. Clubs can do the same with port supply too. But you will not always get the 5% rebate as WM offers members either.
While personally, buying online can be cheaper, overall, if I can get something local for with in 5-10%....I'll do it, as shipping makes up the difference a lot, along with a wait depending upon what I need and want.
At the end, no place is best for everything.