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Old 03-23-2022, 04:22 PM   #81
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What is now (rightfully) being said about Amazon and price competition used to be said of Walmart.

A friend inherited a small local chain of men's clothing stores, of maybe a dozen and a half stores. He shut it all down (decades ago) when Walmart carried his brands at a retail price lower than his wholesale cost. The story has a happy ending, since he totally changed course away from retailing and literally made a fortune in a very different field.

Sears was failing before Lambert. That one is like the old joke about poor investing. "How did you lose so much money?" "Slowly at first, then the rest all at once."

If some investment banker persuades Amazon to spin off AWS (cloud business) then the retail business is either cooked or destined to make a lot of changes in their margins. It appears unsustainable alone in its current form. My $0.02.
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Old 03-23-2022, 04:25 PM   #82
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Amazon retail does very well...


https://www.forbes.com/sites/palashg...h=66db31d131ce
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Old 03-23-2022, 05:01 PM   #83
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No, Amazon retail sells a lot, has an increasing market share. Yes, they have 11-12% of all apparel sales. They also have over 30% returns on apparel. You sell at low margin, you pay for shipping, you pay for shipping back, you have to figure out what to do with what comes back. They are working very hard to figure out solutions including better matching of sizes, brick and mortar for returns and exchanges and other, but haven't solved it yet. They're bringing new retailers into their platform, but all are struggling.
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Old 03-23-2022, 05:32 PM   #84
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Not really, in retail.

I re-skimmed the 10K before posting to be sure of my memory.
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Old 03-24-2022, 12:26 AM   #85
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Defender was recently purchased by Fortnine, a newish Canadian motorcycle parts vendor.

I have dealt almost exclusively with Fortnine for the last 4-5 years with exceptional customer service for my motorcycle parts and gear.

I hope this bodes well for Defender.

I also hope this means I can get Defender service in Canada.
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Old 03-24-2022, 01:19 AM   #86
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Defender was recently purchased by Fortnine, a newish Canadian motorcycle parts vendor.

I have dealt almost exclusively with Fortnine for the last 4-5 years with exceptional customer service for my motorcycle parts and gear.

I hope this bodes well for Defender.

I also hope this means I can get Defender service in Canada.
I hope so too.
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Old 03-24-2022, 06:42 AM   #87
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Defender was recently purchased by Fortnine, a newish Canadian motorcycle parts vendor.

I have dealt almost exclusively with Fortnine for the last 4-5 years with exceptional customer service for my motorcycle parts and gear.

I hope this bodes well for Defender.

I also hope this means I can get Defender service in Canada.

I've heard a few good things about Fortnine. My hope is that they wanted to get into the marine supply business and decided the best way was to buy a company that's already good at it. But time will tell.
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Old 03-24-2022, 08:35 AM   #88
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In response to the limitations of days at sea and other restrictions on commercial fishing the 3 local chandleries closed. The forth became a glorified bait shop. They were on the waterfront. The waterfront has changed and is now condos and tourist traps. No longer the working waterfront it once was. There’s a WM but it’s 3m from the waterfront so you need a car to get there. Same has occurred throughout my region. Used to be while cruising if you needed something you could get off the boat and walk to a chandlery to get it. Those days are gone with marina stores only carrying commonly used items and selling them at very high prices. Now you rent a ride and go for long drives and perhaps find what you need.
In the past I was a member of the local yacht club. It arranged to be a buying agent for all the members. It often could buy from the manufacturer bypassing wholesale and rental vendors. At least for many things they could be bought wholesale if not from the maker. That feature folded. Too much work and club didn’t want to hire someone to do it.
Still, given how costs have accelerated this maybe a tactic to control costs to the end user. A group would bring a “book of business “ to to a intermediary (could even be a Amazon type). In exchange the intermediary commits to a fixed profit margin.
Wonder if this site or MTOA or other could serve as the organizing focus.
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Old 03-24-2022, 10:34 AM   #89
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In the old days there was 4 family held chandleries in my town. Iíd take the broken part to them one by one until I found a perfect match. Iíd also chat them up about any project I was contemplating. They were knowledgeable and walk me through it. Would also collect what I would need to do it and tell me which supplier had the best stuff.
Now I walk into a WM and need to teach them .
Not long ago I walked into a WM to ask about a hard floor for a RIB. The employee, I guess we call them associates now, asked me "What's a RIB?" I told him to turn around. Those boats leaning against the wall behind you, the ones with inflatable tubes. Those are RIBs.

Long gone are the days when retail outlets serving most any need are staffed by knowledable staff. Just guessing it's all about maximizing corporate profits with one of the key methods paying low wages. Also competition with online discounters.
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Old 03-24-2022, 11:03 AM   #90
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Not long ago I walked into a WM to ask about a hard floor for a RIB. The employee, I guess we call them associates now, asked me "What's a RIB?" I told him to turn around. Those boats leaning against the wall behind you, the ones with inflatable tubes. Those are RIBs.

Long gone are the days when retail outlets serving most any need are staffed by knowledable staff. Just guessing it's all about maximizing corporate profits with one of the key methods paying low wages. Also competition with online discounters.

It used to be that most coastal west marine stores had many people working there that were cruisers outfitting boats and working at west to get the employee discount. Many were very knowledgeable and had been lifetime boaters. I seemed under Randy Repass this was fostered and encouraged. It was like the old time hardware stores vs home depot.

I do sometimes use West for the convenience but do agree that have shifted to more of a clothing store than a chandlery. It used to be an exciting event when they would open a new store as they seemed to stock unusual items in those as a trial basis prior to distributing to the chain.
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Old 03-24-2022, 11:49 AM   #91
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Brings back memories of my time in the Navy. On a destroyer there was a HP air compress that needed to be rebuilt. The final stage required 8 rings. Because the compressor had not been rebuilt in a long long time, parts were not restocked on boat. So instead of having 8 rings, the supply department had 2 rings. The rest were returned to a shore side supply facility for redistribution.
End result: a primary weapon system was declared 'out of commission'
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Old 03-24-2022, 12:15 PM   #92
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In response to the limitations of days at sea and other restrictions on commercial fishing the 3 local chandleries closed. The forth became a glorified bait shop. They were on the waterfront. The waterfront has changed and is now condos and tourist traps. No longer the working waterfront it once was. Thereís a WM but itís 3m from the waterfront so you need a car to get there...
We bought our current boat in Somerset and did a ton of work outfitting it for the very long run home. Somerset Marina was very helpful and let us do a lot of work in their yard, which meant I kept running to Newport and surrounding area for 9,000 items. I did visit the WM in Middletown. Got a fantastic pair of binoculars but very few actual boat parts and supplies. Tried the one in Seeconk too, a little better but not much. Isn't Newport Nautical Supply still open though? (Although Newport Nautical wasn't at the waterfront either, we had to rent a car the whole time.) That place was really rough but it was a life saver. Bought a ton of stuff there. That was 2015 though, certainly could have changed a lot by then.
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Old 03-24-2022, 02:19 PM   #93
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We have an Ace Hardware 5 min from the marina which has a marine section. While not Defender they are a bit less than WM and have a decent selection of the essentials (zincs, paint, parts etc). Typically in the spring when someone is going there they ask if anyone needs anything and either pick up or give a ride. It saves a trip to RT2 and the hassle of traffic. Our running joke is how many times in a day do you go there. My current record is 3.

In defense of WM they did have a part I needed last year when everyone else was out. Cost a few more $$ but got the job done.
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Old 03-24-2022, 02:46 PM   #94
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In response to the limitations of days at sea and other restrictions on commercial fishing the 3 local chandleries closed. The forth became a glorified bait shop. They were on the waterfront. The waterfront has changed and is now condos and tourist traps. No longer the working waterfront it once was. Thereís a WM but itís 3m from the waterfront so you need a car to get there. Same has occurred throughout my region. Used to be while cruising if you needed something you could get off the boat and walk to a chandlery to get it. Those days are gone with marina stores only carrying commonly used items and selling them at very high prices. Now you rent a ride and go for long drives and perhaps find what you need.
In the past I was a member of the local yacht club. It arranged to be a buying agent for all the members. It often could buy from the manufacturer bypassing wholesale and rental vendors. At least for many things they could be bought wholesale if not from the maker. That feature folded. Too much work and club didnít want to hire someone to do it.
Still, given how costs have accelerated this maybe a tactic to control costs to the end user. A group would bring a ďbook of business ď to to a intermediary (could even be a Amazon type). In exchange the intermediary commits to a fixed profit margin.
Wonder if this site or MTOA or other could serve as the organizing focus.
I read posts about all the chandlery's and afraid it's all so long before my time. We've been on the coast a little less than 10 years so cruising it about 9. I've seen Hopkins Carter close, and one here and there but many had declined before closing.

As to forming groups for wholesale purchases, we are set up as a management company and buy wholesale and a few reasons it wouldn't be worth the effort. First, many have tightened down on who they will set up for discounts. Even WM is a good example as they don't discount anything like Port did. Second, there's a huge issue with wholesalers. Some have consolidated and others gone and others less dependable. Same management issues as West in carrying less inventory. We stock heavily for the boats we manage, because we can't depend on wholesalers. A few brands do such as Ferretti America and Allied for Ferretti, Riva, Pershing and such and engine manufacturers do. But other parts are poorly stocked today. Try getting anything from Dometic and their many companies, a nightmare. The largest boatyards can't get them.

Headline of an ad I just read, "Stop Kicking the Can. Why Companies Must Think Long Term to Solve Supply Chain Challenges." It's at all levels. It's pervasive. It's throughout the entire system, from retailer to raw materials. It requires investment in capacity and inventories. I recall during the time our manufacturing was shut down and time producing masks and gowns, we accepted every fabric order although at some discounts, every raw material. Shocked our suppliers. Others said it will be old styles by the time you use it. How could it get old if never saw retail? Regardless we rented warehouse space and took it. When manufacturing resumed our retail customers were amazed we had fabric as even their foreign suppliers were whining. We never lost a day of production due to lack of materials. In all our businesses, we're still running scared and we do anything possible to maintain inventories and target levels much higher than we did previously. If the delay of a ship by two weeks shuts you down, whose problem is that? Ends up being your problem and I'd say your fault. Decades ago I manufactured in Puerto Rico. My largest fabric supplier was in NC and regularly ran up to two weeks late. We built it into the schedule. What if they were four weeks late? Shipped to PR by plane instead of ship and made it up. Over the years, everyone got lazy and careless. West Marine got lazy and ran out of stock but their distributors can't respond and make it up. The distributors got lazy and careless but their manufacturers can't respond and make it up. Manufacturers got lazy and careless but their raw materials suppliers can't respond and make it up.

West Marine isn't the entire problem but one part of a far greater issue. Oh, and one clarification too. West Marine buys very little other than their private label directly from manufacturers. Nearly everything through distributors.
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Old 03-24-2022, 03:07 PM   #95
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Off topic side note: I have really fond memories of that area for a number of reasons and we get back there as often as we can (always stay at the America's Cup Inn) but the boat prep marathon was especially memorable. I think his name was Don or Dan at the marina. The boat had been maintained incredibly well by the previous owner, but I needed to switch over all the electronics (AIS, VHS with a display screen, the whole thing), change the hailing port on the stern, make sure every bulb was working, including the steaming light -- and when the boat is on jack stands that radar arch is 900 feet in the air. We expected to run out to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket so it had to be ready for serious water. I remember I worked late into the night one night and the Somerset police rolled into the marina, certain that I was vandalizing the boats. I sure appreciated their diligence, and once I showed them my SD driver's license and the sales paperwork -- and the fact that I was a dirty mess after working on the boat all day, we got into a nice discussion (long way from Mt. Rushmore!). I spent a lot of time in that Ace Hardware too. The work paid off, we spent the next three weeks running about 400 miles eventually nearly to Albany on the Hudson with nearly zero problems, before we had it pulled for trucking home.

(We even thought about buying property on Prudence Island but then COVID hit and RI locked down like Fort Knox, so firmly that we wouldn't have been allowed to retreat there even if we did buy a place. Sadly that permanently changed our mind about real estate on Prudence.)
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Old 03-24-2022, 03:28 PM   #96
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There is a nice .25 acre lot for sale on Prudence for only $350k. Figure similar amount to build your dream cottage.
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Old 03-24-2022, 03:50 PM   #97
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Headline of an ad I just read, "Stop Kicking the Can. Why Companies Must Think Long Term to Solve Supply Chain Challenges." It's at all levels. It's pervasive. It's throughout the entire system, from retailer to raw materials. It requires investment in capacity and inventories.
It's good to hear from someone "in the trenches" about this subject, thank you for an interesting post.

The gospels of "just in time delivery" and "inventory reduction" which businesses have all been following lately never made sense to me. It dawned on me one day that you can consider Amazon to be essentially a warehouse business. They were increasing their inventories when everyone else was busy reducing them. I suspect this goes a long way toward explaining their success. WM is a good example of a company that cut inventory to the bare minimum. I think that's a big part of their problem.
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Old 03-24-2022, 03:53 PM   #98
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Yes, over the years have learned if I need it now first look at non marine sources rather than WM. Ace, fastenal, plumbing supply etc. can even get non Chinese stainless.
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Old 03-25-2022, 12:57 PM   #99
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You have to have a masochistic streak to shop @ WM. One to investigate, especially if you set up a business account, is Fisheries Supply out of Seattle. Their inventory is usually great and, if you have a business, so are their prices.
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Old 03-25-2022, 01:02 PM   #100
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I recently saw somewhere that the original owners of WM had sold out to a holding company. It's anyone's guess as to what the future of WM will be.
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