Originally Posted by South of Heaven
They are closing stores too. Problem is their markup and online competition as well as dropping boat ownership. For example boat ownership is down 20% in Oregon since 2000.
Younger folks are not gravitating to boats like in the past. And can you blame them!! Its hard to justify buying a high dollar asset whose value sinks faster than the Titanic.
IMO the bigger problem is the new boat sales stats....if WM fails that doesn't mean squat. But once the big name builders go under then its an issue, and I'm not talking about restructuring entities. I mean like gone forever.
Then let's look a little closer. Yes, boat ownership is down since 2000. Boats owned in 2007 were only slightly more than 2000. However, sales of new boats bottomed our from 2008 until 2012. Since 2012 the sales per year of new boats in the US has risen about 15% . So, the industry has been in recovery those years. Registered boats bottomed out in 2014 and the number of registered boats has increased about 2% since then.
The biggest threat to boat builders today is a trade war. The industry was devastated by the luxury tax in 1991 and had it not been repealed would have been in serious trouble. What was clearly seen is that new boat buyers will not pay an immediate 10% extra. US boat builders can't survive without foreign sales and most foreign boat builders need their US sales. However, this does feed back to your point of saying if people slow down on boat buying, West Marine is in trouble. It's like the furniture business when home building declines.