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Old 03-22-2018, 11:19 AM   #161
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Most people have amazon prime.. Which begs the question.snip
And so, I have been complaining for years about WM's pricing strategy. Yes, I am glad they will price match again... but here is the rub. Why should I have to know and prove a lower price for things they have always had excessive mark-ups on? Why can't their pricing strategy at least be competitive with online retailers?

I will admit this: WM would not have gotten this big and arguably good for boaters without having made such high profits on us to this point. Profit is profit and it is hard to fault them for taking advantage of their position. Still, it soooo stinks of corporate greed at the highest level.

Why was WM so set on a business model that is clearly contradictory to the internet savvy customer base... and you HAVE to assume they are aware of it. Why then aren't they setting up a model the makes them the retail LEADER in marine supplies? They could really kick everybody's ass if they priced competitively. Providing prices that are competitive accounting for shipping and a small brick and mortar markup is common and generally accepted. Yes, there are many, many markets where there is no brick-and-mortar competition, but there are nearly zero markets where Amazon, Defender, Fisheries, etc. aren't in the mix.

It really upsets me that, while they have restored the price match option, it is still our responsibility to force their hand. They would look far better in the eyes of customers (this one anyway) to be the "marine discount leader" rather than the boaters joke they are now.

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Old 03-22-2018, 11:36 AM   #162
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I offer two points in response.

1. Amazon doesn't price match and often I've found other vendors lower.

2. Amazon pricing doesn't lead to profitability, not even on internet, much less brick and mortar. Amazon's depending on small retailers with no overhead on many products and those retailers aren't making adequate profits. On what Amazon is handling and selling themselves, their profit at the end of the day is not adequate to sustain a business long term. Their income was 2.9% of sales in 2016, less than 1% in 2015 and they lost money in 2014. Their current share price is $1554 and their earnings per share last year were $4.90. That would be a return of 0.3%. That's in the range of CD's.

Amazon only looks good as a stock investment based on a crazy market, but not of it's basic financials are sound. They're depending on expansion to keep the excitement going rather than on profits as they get bigger and bigger. However, they've not shown at any time an ability to get an adequate profit or return on equity of the company. To say someone else should be able to price like they do is saying that someone else should have no interest in making a profit.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:46 AM   #163
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Toys-R-Us clearance now scheduled for every store. Sears clearance happening in I think in 100 +/- of their stores [it is to ours]. WM clearance in the future... I would not doubt it. Macy's and even big box like Walmart and Target... the list goes on...


Computer orders while sipping refreshments. Driverless delivery vehicles as "mother ship" with walking robot or small flying device for point of drop-off delivery.


Vacant malls, unemployed people = economic game change!


This is approaching our daily lives at break neck speeds.


Teleportation anyone? - see post # 160
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:53 AM   #164
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I offer two points in response.

1. Amazon doesn't price match and often I've found other vendors lower.

2. Amazon pricing doesn't lead to profitability, not even on internet, much less brick and mortar. Amazon's depending on small retailers with no overhead on many products and those retailers aren't making adequate profits. On what Amazon is handling and selling themselves, their profit at the end of the day is not adequate to sustain a business long term. Their income was 2.9% of sales in 2016, less than 1% in 2015 and they lost money in 2014. Their current share price is $1554 and their earnings per share last year were $4.90. That would be a return of 0.3%. That's in the range of CD's.

Amazon only looks good as a stock investment based on a crazy market, but not of it's basic financials are sound. They're depending on expansion to keep the excitement going rather than on profits as they get bigger and bigger. However, they've not shown at any time an ability to get an adequate profit or return on equity of the company. To say someone else should be able to price like they do is saying that someone else should have no interest in making a profit.
Amazon's long range game plan: Kill the brick and mortar retailers by offering super discount prices during their unprecedented expansion program. Then when ample amount of retailers are gone broke; simply up their retail prices and make a killing. Capitalism Business 101... for the 21st Century!
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:56 AM   #165
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Amazon's long range game plan: Kill the brick and mortar retailers by offering super discount prices during their unprecedented expansion program. Then when ample amount of retailers are gone broke; simply up their retail prices and make a killing. Capitalism Business 101... for the 21st Century!
Or build their business and then sell it and buy a boat?
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:42 PM   #166
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........Reign in the cost of in house branded stuff. Your West Marine ___ isn't worth 80% of lewmar anchors, taco marine or Penn reels.........
West Marine doesn't actually make their own anchors and stuff. Lewmar ( or some other manufacturer ) makes it for them and sells it to them for a little less than a branded anchor. If the price on them gets too low, Lewmar knows their own sales will suffer so they don't want to lower the price too far, AND...if the price gets too low, they will stop making them for WM and only make their own brand.

Everyone seems to agree that they like to have West Marine around for the convenience of getting something right now, but no one wants to pay for it. When you buy something there you are paying for 2 things. The item, and the service to have it available right now. That "service" is not free. And if you want to talk to a knowledable experiened sales person...there is a cost for that as well.

Imagine yourself as the Chief Pricing Guru for WM, and start with the bottom line and work your way up. You say "we have to make X dollars per store per month. We move move Y amount of inventory. Our prices have to be X/Y or we go out of business. You can't just start with pricing and hope your revenue is sufficient. That would be like cutting taxes and hoping the Federal Budget balances itself....oh...wait a minute...
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:08 PM   #167
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Toys-R-Us clearance now scheduled for every store. Sears clearance happening in I think in 100 +/- of their stores [it is to ours]. WM clearance in the future... I would not doubt it. Macy's and even big box like Walmart and Target... the list goes on...

Vacant malls, unemployed people = economic game change!
Walmart and Target are both very much on the upswing. West Marine is to be determined. Amazon did not kill Toys-R-Us, venture capital did. $5 billion in debt did and it all came about when venture capitalists acquired them. Leveraged buyouts have done that to so many. The owners don't deserve a return on investment as they don't have an investment. All the money is borrowed money. One huge difference between invested and borrrowed, you have to pay the borrowed back. Debt load was not manageable. Sears doomed themselves long ago but they sealed their eventual failure with the insane purchase of K-Mart.

As to malls, we were greatly overbuilt compared to any other country. Too many malls so the old ones are emptying. Probably 150 too many malls in the country.

As to unemployed, re-imployed is the better word.

As to brick and mortar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar opened over 1600 stores in 2017 and will do about the same in 2018. Aldi, Five Below, Ulta, Hobby Lobby, H&M, Target, Walmart, Dick's, Nordstrom Rack, and Costco all opening stores. T-Mobile added over 3000 stores in 2017 and Sprint added 500. TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross added 275 stores. Harbor Freight added 100. Petsmart and Petco added 170. Tractor Supply added 120. There are stores thriving in malls. Look at Victoria's Secret, Pink, Bath and Body Works as examples. Also, Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy.

Our brick and mortar retail was up over 10% store to store in 2017 and that's without adding the additional business they picked up on internet sales.

Meanwhile, at some point, shareholders of entities not making money will rise up, such as Amazon, Uber, and Tesla and then companies built on current movements such as social media will falter as well. Look at Facebook's struggles at this moment. Think back. Yahoo once owned the world it seemed. Whatever became of Myspace? A lot of social media sites failed.

Business constantly evolves and businesspersons must do so with it.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:25 PM   #168
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Mostly good points BB... on relitively current events that is... but don't be surprised at the power of internet sales matched with AI and android delivery systems... things you mention of increased B & M store build outs will eventually change.


Actually, isn't the whole capitalist theory a pretty big Ponzi scheme with temporary winners at the top who last for couple decades or maybe more feeding off those at bottom and mid-section to also eventually have "Creative Destruction" win again over their business model??!!
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:50 PM   #169
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Folks, forget about retail sales. This is where the money is made:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Web_Services
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:59 PM   #170
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Folks, forget about retail sales. This is where the money is made:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Web_Services
Then what eventually becomes of their retail? Could they move from retailer to retail service provider where they simply warehouse and distribute goods for others?

I'm sure they've got a plan, maybe multiple. However, I'm not sure they've got a sustainable long term plan. Then the Whole Foods acquisition shows a certain arrogance. They came in convinced they could run it better than it had been. Now, if they were grocery experts, I can see that. However, they've treated it like their distribution centers, not groceries. They've ended up with frustrated shoppers and empty shelves. They talk like delivery will be the difference maker but then they set up Instacart, which delivers for many. Then they try their own Prime Now but it's no different. None of these are grocery delivery companies with refrigerated and freezer vehicles. Prime customers get "free" Instacart delivery, but it's not free. You're still expected to tip the shopper.

Amazon management has shown they can build a company. The real test will come in seeing if they can run one.
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:28 PM   #171
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I think their real challenge will be if they can survive in the post-Bezos era. So much of their success is culture based that it will be like Walmart after Sam, GE after Welsch, Microsoft after Gates, and Apple after Jobs. He's only 54 years old so they have some time to get ready. Hopefully they are looking far enough ahead and handle the transition better than some of those other examples.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:17 PM   #172
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To quote BandB “Business constantly evolves and businesspersons must do so with it.”

The cream will rise to the top, it always does if the financing is available. Change is good, yes some may lose jobs but the economy will get stronger.

BTW someone mentioned the future (Al?), a friend of mine is working with 3D printers, you have one in your home or office and if you need a particular product one phone call and the info is sent to your printer and you have it in minutes. Future might be great. Your a boater and need a part, a phone call and your printer on board makes it.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:43 PM   #173
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To quote BandB “Business constantly evolves and businesspersons must do so with it.”

The cream will rise to the top, it always does if the financing is available. Change is good, yes some may lose jobs but the economy will get stronger.

BTW someone mentioned the future (Al?), a friend of mine is working with 3D printers, you have one in your home or office and if you need a particular product one phone call and the info is sent to your printer and you have it in minutes. Future might be great. Your a boater and need a part, a phone call and your printer on board makes it.
Al = Artificial Intelligence ... if you are really in question.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:51 PM   #174
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Al = Artificial Intelligence ... if you are really in question.
Wifey B: Or is he saying someone named Al mentioned the future? I believe that's what he meant, but then I don't have artificial intelligence. Everything natural.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:34 PM   #175
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Wifey B: Or is he saying someone named Al mentioned the future? I believe that's what he meant, but then I don't have artificial intelligence. Everything natural.
BandB, I am natural dumber than a rock, I own a boat.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:36 PM   #176
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Wifey B: Or is he saying someone named Al mentioned the future? I believe that's what he meant, but then I don't have artificial intelligence. Everything natural.
WB - Could be... that mean that Al and AI are pretty close to synonymous?? My mistake for taking an l for a cap I.


Or is it really a mistake... do tell Al!!


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Old 03-23-2018, 06:36 AM   #177
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"Why was WM so set on a business model that is clearly contradictory to the internet savvy customer base?"

So many folks are first time boat owners , remember the 25 ft sales out number the 50 ft sales (and the new 50 ft come with joystick so no experience is needed) that a market exists for folks that like bright shiny stuff , and nautical clothing.

The markup on nautical clothing and fish gear is probably as high as paint.

At one time folks started with small craft and grew into becoming larger boat owners , today its a credit check , and a captains hat, same day.

The WM model fits todays boaters who purchase instant gratification.

By time they would discover the O rings in deck fill need replacing , they have traded , or lost interest and are gone.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:44 AM   #178
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FF. Those boaters keep the market viable, got to love them when looking for a used boat.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:11 AM   #179
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Here's a thought. You don't like WM? You think they make too much profit?
They are trying to make some concessions via the "professional card", Port Supply cards, member discount prices and sales. WM needs to maintain the bricks and mortar stores and pay for the staffing of the store and renew the things to sell plus a profit.
There will be some folks who will begrudge WM desire to make a profit. The difference for discussion is what you think is a reasonable profit and what WM considers a reasonable profit.
You don't like it? Vote with your money and don't shop at WM.
You could open a competing store too. Trust me, you don't want the headaches.
We have watched many Mom and Pop stores, of all description and product line, go out of business because when they order replacement stock, they cannot get the price discount WM can get. Why? The smaller stores can't and don't order 10,000 units like WM.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:59 AM   #180
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The wording on their website is:

If you find a lower price on an identical product at a competitor's retail store or website before you buy – or within 30 days of your purchase, we'll match it.

Identical would include the brand and model name. That is completely reasonable. I'm actually surprised their matching online pricing...some brick and mortar stores will only match other B&M store pricing.
Here is an ignorant question...

Are they matching the retail price or the price + shipping? It is easy to find low prices on some items online but when the cost of shipping is added it often is higher than buying from Amazon Prime or from a Brick and Mortar store.

This is one of the things that worries me about WM doing price matching for online retailers. They simply can't afford it. WM has to ship and stock and handle every product in their store. Their cost just to put an item on the shelf or to receive a shipped item to a store for us to pick is NOT insignificant. This makes their overhead so much higher than an online warehouse based or drop-ship retailer.
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