West Marine is an American company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which operates a chain of boating supply and fishing retail stores. The company has 247 retail stores in North America. West Marine also runs Blue Future[2] a non profit organization. West Marine's flagship store is in Fort Lauderdale. Opened on February 28, 2018, the store is the company's largest at over 50,000 square feet.[3]

West Marine
Company typePrivate company
IndustrySpecialty retail and wholesale
FounderRandy Repass
HeadquartersFort Lauderdale, Florida
Number of locations
ProductsBoating and fishing
Number of employees
5,000 (varies by season)

History edit

The company was founded in 1968 by Randy Repass in Sunnyvale, California, with the name West Coast Ropes, selling nylon rope from Repass' garage. The first retail West Coast Ropes store opened in 1975 in Palo Alto, California. With the acquisition of assets from West Products in 1977, the company changed its name to West Marine Products, Inc. In 1978 West Marine established a wholesale division called Port Supply. In 1991, the first West Marine stores opened on the East Coast of the United States, in Miami and Annapolis, Maryland. In 1993 the company went public on the NASDAQ exchange (symbol WMAR).

In 1996, West Marine merged with E&B Marine, to target a larger customer base of power boat enthusiasts. In 2003 the company acquired the Boat U.S. Product Division.

In December 2007, Geoff Eisenberg replaced Peter Harris as the company's president and chief executive officer.[4]

By 2009, the company was more than three times as large as its nearest competitor, Boater's World, which closed that year, shutting all its stores nationwide.

In April 2012 the company announced that Eisenberg planned to resign. In June 2012, Matt Hyde, a 26-year veteran of REI, became the new president and CEO.[5]

In September 2017, West Marine was acquired by private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners for $338 million in cash.[6][7] In October 2017 the company announced that Hyde had left the company.[8]

In January 2018 Doug Robinson was appointed CEO;[9] he left in November 2018.[10] In December 2018, the company announced that Ken Seipel had been appointed CEO.[11]

In April 2021 L Catterton acquired West Marine.[12]

In August 2021 Eric Kufel was appointed as the new CEO.[13]

In December 2022 Chuck Rubin was appointed as the new CEO. In February 2023, Mr. Rubin announced a recapitalization. The press release also identified a new CFO, Jim Grady.[14]

Retailing history edit

In 1996, West Marine's VP Chuck Hawley and a team led by Webmaster & Catalog Systems Analyst Robert Kennedy launched westmarine.com. It quickly became an early leader in online retailers with catalog call center innovations such as upsell and cross-sell exported into online user experiences.[citation needed]

In July 2008, West Marine opened its first franchise store in Istanbul, Turkey. The newly formed company, East Marine Denizcilik ve Turizm A.Ş trades as West Marine Turkey and was majority owned by Rahmi Koç and İbrahim Yazıcı. In March 2009, the second store was opened in Kalamış and June 2009 saw the opening of the third franchise store in Bodrum. The fourth store, in Marmaris, opened in October 2010 with more stores planned around the coast of Turkey. On January 1, 2015, all seven West Marine Franchise stores in Turkey separated from West Marine and became Eastmarine.[15]

In October 2014, West Marine announced that it would close all of its Canadian stores by 2019 as their leases expired; seven of the ten stores in Canada were to close in 2015.[16][17]

In November 2011, the company opened their largest retail store, with 50,000 square feet, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[18]

References edit

  1. ^ "Press-Release-060211 - West Marine". www.westmarine.com. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  2. ^ "BlueFuture | West Marine". www.westmarine.com. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  3. ^ "Fort Lauderdale Announces Newly Updated West Marine Flagship Along with New West Marine Pro Location | West Marine". www.westmarine.com. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  4. ^ "USA. West Marine appoints Geoff Eisenberg as President and CEO to succeed Peter Harris". BYM Product and Industry News. December 11, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "Matthew Hyde to Succeed Geoff Eisenberg as President and Chief Executive Officer of West Marine". West Marine: Press Releases. May 17, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "West Marine has a new owner at the helm: Monomoy Capital Partners". 5 July 2017.
  7. ^ "WEST MARINE STOCKHOLDERS APPROVE ACQUISITION BY MONOMOY CAPITAL PARTNERS | West Marine". www.westmarine.com. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  8. ^ "West Marine CEO Matt Hyde to Depart West Marine". www.westmarine.com. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  9. ^ "NEW CEO for West Marine". www.sailingscuttlebutt.com. Scuttle Butt Sailing News. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  10. ^ "West Marine CEO makes sudden exit". www.tradeonlytoday.com. Soundings Trade Only Today. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  11. ^ "West Marine Hires Veteran Retailer Ken Seipel as CEO". Dec 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "Press | L Catterton". www.lcatterton.com. Retrieved 2022-01-02.
  13. ^ Catterton, L. "West Marine Appoints Eric Kufel as Chief Executive Officer". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2022-01-02.
  14. ^ "West Marine Completes Recapitalization Securing Significant Capital for Long-term Growth". prnewswire.com. Feb 28, 2023. Retrieved 13 March 2023.
  15. ^ "East Marine - Deniz için her şey." www.eastmarine.com.tr. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  17. ^ "West Marine Closing Canadian Locations". Boating Business. October 28, 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-01-20. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  18. ^ "Fort Lauderdale Announces Newly Updated West Marine Flagship Along with New West Marine Pro Location | West Marine". www.westmarine.com. Retrieved 2019-10-21.