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Thread: West Marine Alameda Moving

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    West Marine Alameda Moving



    The West Marine on Buena Vista in Alameda is closing at the end of March and will be moving
    to the South Shore Center.



    Apparently the lease had expired. Sign in window indicates that a Grocery Outlet Bargain Market will replace the WM on Buena Vista.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  2. #2
    Moving away from the sailing market and more onto the beach wear/sunscreen market?

  3. #3
    Hated the offramp but the old 23rd ave location was much easier

  4. #4
    That offramp was designed when model t's were all the rage, me tinks.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonapah Low View Post
    Moving away from the sailing market and more onto the beach wear/sunscreen market?
    Probably exactly right. More Patagonia, Eagle Creek, Columbia, Yeti, and other "outdoor lifestyle" clothing and accessories that we can get anywhere else, cheaper. Less actual marine supplies. Just look at the Marin superstore. Square footage is mostly clothes and shoes. If Defender had free 2 day shipping, I'd be done with West Marine, unfortunately. Some nice folks work at the bay area stores.

  7. #7
    Alameda was their "sailing specialty" store and rigging shop. It was harder to get to than Oakland but the selection was much better. They closed the San Jose and Palo Alto stores a few years ago but no great loss. SJ had a mediocre selection but it was a handy place for us south bay folks to 'ship to store'. SJ "lost the lease" (means did not want to pay a rent increase) to a paint store.

    WM and all brick and mortar retailers are kind of sealing their own fate. They have a store and an online presence but the selection in the store is limited so you end up online anyway. Then they close stores because sales are down. The spiral continues.

    At least WM has free shipping on orders over $49. Seriously folks, how often do you get out of WM for under 50 bucks?

  8. #8
    Headed Offshore
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    I think we can look forward to more MW closures and a change in their marketing. They face several challenges.

    1) One, of course is the internet, which includes Defender Industries and several other retailers/catalogers with a big Internet interest. Often lower prices and no California sales tax (unless you fess up and report your purchases on April 15). Even with shipping, an instrument "package" is often much less expensive from Defender than from WM. And their "specials" or "sales" items are usually real discounts.

    2) A general change in boats and boat owners. When WM got going there were a dozen or more local chandleries scattered around SF Bay ( 4 or 5 in Sausalito alone). WM managed to put almost all of them out of business with it's "sales" and inventory. Most boat owners worked on their boats at small yards also scattered around (4 or more in Sausalito alone, again). The boats were small and older and the owners didn't have deep pockets. Today boats are larger and most owners deliver their boat to a yard where pros do the work. Some present yards prohibit or limit owners from working on their boats. The result is fewer nuts, bolts, screws, and blocks being purchased. The new Sausalito WM store is half or more clothes, kayaks, stand ups, fishing, and so on. I imagine the new Alameda store will be the same. Retailers sell what sells.

    Speaking of WM "getting going" -- I visited Randy's garage in Palo Alto all those years ago to buy some rope and two blocks for my Coronado 25. A long drive from Santa Rosa, but everyone said he had the "deals." I also picked up two cast aluminum winch handles that have "Made in Alviso by Hippies" cast into the underside. Plain wooden handles. I wonder if "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS might be interested?

  9. #9
    Headed Offshore
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    Another thought. I purchased my first set of "new" foulies from Lands End when it was a marine mail order store in the early 1970s. Some boat parts and a sea bag, too. But then the catalog became more and more clothing over the years and finally they gave up on boating equipment. About the only LE "boating" item left are their ice bags, which are still strong and useful. Of course you can now buy them in all sort of fancy colors and combos. I still have a ragged "used-to-be-white" LE bag I keep tools in. Frayed handles, rust stains, but the seams are holding tight. Maybe I should ask that my ashes be transported in that bag on their way to the SF Bay spreading?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wylieguy View Post
    ... When WM got going there were a dozen or more local chandleries scattered around SF Bay ( 4 or 5 in Sausalito alone). WM managed to put almost all of them out of business with it's "sales" and inventory.
    That reminds me: when I had my boat in Alameda and was regularly bouncing between Svendsen's and WM, I was always amazed at how Svendsen's prices on a lot of things were often better than WM -- even without the yard customer discount. You'd expect the opposite. I wondered if they took a small loss on the small items (what I'm usually buying) to keep us in the shop for the big, profitable items, particularly when we're hauled in the yard? Curious to see how the Richmond/Bay Marine moves affect all that. KKMI will be right next door with a similar chandlery (that's closed on weekends, so there you go, Svendsen's!).


    I do miss the South San Fran WM store, mis-managed as it was. I didn't have to wait for weekends, when I'd rather be sailing, to get boat stuff.

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