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-   -   West Marine makes enemies (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/100104-west-marine-makes-enemies.html)

Frogwatch 06-03-2013 11:28 AM

West Marine makes enemies
 
Yeah, I know a big company has to act cutthroat to stay ahead and they prob have small profit margins in spite of having a huge markup on all their stuff but do they have to try to make enemies?
Here in Tallahassee, the local West MArine store was in a poor location and needed upsizing. So,corporate did the right thing by relocating and increasing the store size, maybe by too much though. However, in the process, they managed to piss off a lot of local people by their attitude toward employees who are also boaters.
Tallahassee is not Fort Lauderdale where any random boater prob does not know any other random boater. Here, any random boater prob knows about 25% of the others. Here, if you screw a few employees, you've prob alienated a majority of your market.
Being long accustomed to buying stuff online (Due to the inadequate West Store) from cheaper sources, local boaters now have a very strong incentive to buy online rather than from West Marine. Even worse for West MArine, a Bass Pro, Dicks Sporting Goods and Academy Sporting Goods are all opening nearby.
It's too bad cuz I liked browsing (and I always bought stuff) whenever I was nearby but West Marine has committed retail suicide.

Harborless 06-03-2013 11:36 AM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frogwatch (Post 1038922)
Yeah, I know a big company has to act cutthroat to stay ahead and they prob have small profit margins in spite of having a huge markup on all their stuff but do they have to try to make enemies?
Here in Tallahassee, the local West MArine store was in a poor location and needed upsizing. So,corporate did the right thing by relocating and increasing the store size, maybe by too much though. However, in the process, they managed to piss off a lot of local people by their attitude toward employees who are also boaters.
Tallahassee is not Fort Lauderdale where any random boater prob does not know any other random boater. Here, any random boater prob knows about 25% of the others. Here, if you screw a few employees, you've prob alienated a majority of your market.
Being long accustomed to buying stuff online (Due to the inadequate West Store) from cheaper sources, local boaters now have a very strong incentive to buy online rather than from West Marine. Even worse for West MArine, a Bass Pro, Dicks Sporting Goods and Academy Sporting Goods are all opening nearby.
It's too bad cuz I liked browsing (and I always bought stuff) whenever I was nearby but West Marine has committed retail suicide.

It gets worse than that. They do not even care about their OWN employees opinions.
Case and point: I went into West Marine in Ortega to buy some specialty bolt or something other and I got to speaking with an older sales associate who told me he had upgraded his bilge pump or some pump (im sorry it was awhile ago)
however the new pump from west marine was garbage. When he called his own company for help and parts they basically told him to kick rocks it was his faulty installation or his improper this or that. Not the product.

Anyway, this guy works in there store and he told me he always tells customers not to buy that item.

Now thats good advertising.

jephotog 06-03-2013 12:14 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
I remember back a few years when hanging out on SN a member here was in management at WM. He was knowledgable and a good contributer here. He was always defending WM's business practices here.

I don't remember the exact details but he got demoted or fired because his employees were not pushing high end GPS's or some other electronics as dictated by the company. With poor treatment of the employees it has to be hard to get people who either care or know their stuff, which is often evident when asking for help.

desert rat 06-03-2013 12:38 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
A good smear campaign can destroy any company. Check your information source.

jephotog 06-03-2013 12:57 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by desert rat (Post 1038974)
A good smear campaign can destroy any company. Check your information source.

I bad mouth Walmart all the time. The company has still managed to stay afloat.

bljones 06-03-2013 01:24 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jephotog (Post 1038987)
I bad mouth Walmart all the time. The company has still managed to stay afloat.

You need to improve your bad mouthing skills, apparently.

blowinstink 06-03-2013 01:28 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jephotog (Post 1038987)
I bad mouth Walmart all the time. The company has still managed to stay afloat.

West Marine ain't no Walmart!

They appear entirely rudderless . . .. They closed all those stores as part of the "price matching" compete with the 'net retailers play . . . but then they changed course 180' when they dropped their price matching. Now they are left as a pure brick and mortar operation without locations. What's worse is they are not doing the "local guy" thing well either. If you want to be the place for instant purchase at a higher price, you MUST have inventory. No one will order from WM (there prices aren't remotely competitive). Yet they don't have adequate stock. I just don't get it. And then the petty stuff like the lousy computer system they run, the employees who follow you all over the store as if you're shoplifting (talk about killing the impulse buy) and the ones who give you bad information . . . (god help the next kid who gives me unsolicited advice to do the job the wrong way . . .). Oi!

All that said, I hope they get it together and survive.

MarkofSeaLife 06-03-2013 01:36 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
It amazes me how Americans hate their one and only surviving nationwide sailing chandlery.

No doubt you will get what you wish for.

No more WestMarine!

blowinstink 06-03-2013 01:45 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife (Post 1039012)
It amazes me how Americans hate their one and only surviving nationwide sailing chandlery.

No doubt you will get what you wish for.

No more WestMarine!

I certainly don't hate them . . . I just think they lack direction and appear in trouble.

Do any other countries even have a nation chain chandlery? OZ? France? SA?

MarkofSeaLife 06-03-2013 02:01 PM

Re: West Marine makes enemies
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blowinstink (Post 1039016)

Do any other countries even have a nation chain chandlery? OZ? France? SA?

The Caribbean has two: Budget Marine and Island Water World.
Its imperative IMHO that the sailors in this region support the locals and in doing so we benifit in a) having them and b) their competing against each other keeping prices low.

If you guys in the USA lose Westmarine you will never get to touch a marine product before you order it on-line. You will never get to hold it, inspect it, measure it, look at the fine print on the bottom of it, ogal it for months before you can afford it. The best you will have is some stingy photo on the internet.

You will never be able to take it into the next aisle and buy the correct tubing for it, the right connectors, the wiring you need to install it, the correct tackle for the block or visa versa.

Yes you may save money on buying off the internet but how do you KNOW you are ordering the exact correct thing?

How do people 'help' Westmarine when they lack direction or some other obvious malaise or management error? I don't know. But I guess its its important to try by emailing their Head Office (etc) every time you are dissatisfied. At least then they have the benifit of your knowledge of their shop.


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