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West Marine, Inc.

West Marine, Inc.


500 Westridge Drive
Watsonville, California 95076
U.S.A.
Telephone: (831) 728-2700
Fax: (831) 728-5000
Web site: http://www.westmarine.com

Public Company
Incorporated:
1993
Employees: 5,026
Sales: $716.6 million (2006)
Stock Exchanges: NASDAQ
Ticker Symbol: WMAR
NAIC: 441220 Boat Dealers; 423910 Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers; 454110 Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses

West Marine, Inc., is the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies in the United States and one of the country's leading wholesale distributors of marine equipment. The company sells marine supplies for sailboats and powerboatsincluding recreational boating supplies, sporting goods, apparel, and sophisticated navigational equipmentthrough three divisions: Stores (retail with 88 percent of 2006 net sales), Direct Sale (catalog/Internet retail with 6 percent) and Port Supply (wholesale with 6 percent). Its private labels include the West Marine and Seafit brand names. West Marine operates over 400 retail stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

COMPANY ORIGINS

Randolph Repass first entered the boating supply business in 1968, through his homespun operation of West Coast Ropesa garage-based business selling rope used for boating lines. Raised by a family that was very involved with recreational and sport boating in Boston's south suburbs, Repass studied electrical engineering at Duke University, then moved to California's Silicon Valley to work as an engineer for Fairchild Camera and Instruments in 1966. At Fairchild, Repass was critical of management's reluctance to give employees the free rein he felt they needed to excel at their jobs. He left Fairchild for a technology company, Nortec, where he did not stay long either. By 1973, married with two children, Repass started his own consulting firm, Semiconductor Engineering Associates. When Repass purchased a 13-foot sailboat for $250the best he could afford at the timehe went shopping for boating supplies and found that most stores were lacking in both product selection and trained personnel. Repass correctly identified a need for a marine accessories retailer carrying a wide selection of products. After seven years of mail-order business, Repass opened the first West Coast Ropes store in Palo Alto in 1975. This was indeed the first retailer of its size and selection in the underserved industry.

Repass's business philosophy encompassed a liberal and caring attitude toward both the customer and the employee. "Employee empowerment" was a key concept and Repass involved all employees in the company's success by means of a stock option after their first year of employment. Customers appreciated West Marine's innovative return policy, which provided for replacement, refund, or repair of any item with no time limit. West Marine was one of the first companies in the country to implement such a liberal return policy.

In its first year of existence, the store expanded its inventory to approximately 600 marine supply items, adding first basic boat supplies such as anchors and fenders, then paints, safety equipment, and foul weather clothes. Business was not instantly successful. In fact, during the first year it was not uncommon for an entire day to pass with no customers, and the company's bills were paid with the earnings of Repass's consulting business. Repass lived on a boat in Santa Cruz and spent numerous evenings in a sleeping bag behind the store counter. However, he worked hard to keep the atmosphere upbeat and staff spirits high, and longtime employees remember both the hard work and the fun of those early days. Repass's hard work and initial investment of $25,000 paid off. In 1977 he purchased some assets of West Products, a mail-order company based in Boston. To reflect the growing inventory, Repass changed the company's name to West Marine Products.

In 1982, needing more space, the company moved its headquarters from Palo Alto to Santa Cruz. In 1988, West Marine moved again, to its current location in Watsonville, California. Through acquisitions of the Newport Supply and Cal Marine chains and the opening of its own shops, West Marine had 12 stores on the West Coast and a mail-order catalog business, with 1988 sales of $56.3 million. However, there were recurrent financial difficulties, and in 1989, Repass took three months off to build a house, spend time with his family, and reflect on the company's future.

AGGRESSIVE EXPANSION: 199095

Repass returned with renewed vigor and plans to develop the company into a "category killer" (meaning that West Marine stores would carry approximately twice as many items as its closest competitors). The company updated its computer system to produce daily store reports and real-time inventory checks for its telemarketing staff, and also hired a new group of managers, including Crawford Colea former auto industry executiveas president.

In 1990 West Marine had 15 stores, all in the West. In 1991 the company began a process of rapid expansion in an attempt to increase its penetration across the 8,000 miles of shoreline in the continental United States, opening 31 additional stores by 1994. Between 1992 and 1995 the number of stores increased by an average of 39 percent annually, with new stores established in Florida, Maryland, Long Island, New England, the Gulf, and the Great Lakes. With preopening expenses of about $625,000, most West Marine stores became profitable after two years.

The company also diversified its service units, planning half-size stores for smaller communities. Sales from its Port Supply Wholesale Division increased 35 percent (to $20.3 million) in 1993. Net income for 1993 was $3.5 million on sales of $122.8 million, which constituted a 116 percent increase in net income and a 127 percent increase in sales over the previous year.

In 1993 West Marine, Inc., was formed as a parent company for West Marine Products, Inc., and incorporated in California. That same year West Marine, Inc., went public at a price of $14 per share. By 1994, comparable-store sales had leaped by 15.8 percent over the previous year, and the stores' stock had mushroomed to some 18,000 items.

COMPANY PERSPECTIVES


Our mission is to be the best supplier of boatingrelated products and services that provide outstanding value to every customer. We are committed to treating all of our customers even better than they expect to be treated so that they regard us as the best company in the industry. While continuing to grow, we will provide an open, supportive, challenging, team-oriented environment within which our associates can achieve job satisfaction, professional and personal growth. We will actively promote boating, work to reduce our impact on the environment, improve and protect marine habitats, and continue to contribute to social needs in the communities in which we do business. We will achieve superior financial returns for the benefit of our associates, customers and shareholders.

ENTERING THE POWERBOAT MARKET

With 56 stores and approximately 7 percent market share, West Marine was recognized as number one of the four industry leadersjoining Boat America Corporation, E&B Marine, Inc., and Boater's Worldwhich together represented 16 percent of the $2.2 billion boating supplies industry. To provide expert management, the company bolstered its executive personnel in marketing, merchandising, and inventory. Harvey Durand, whose background was in drug and grocery stores, was hired as president and chief operating officer, and Dennis Hawkins was hired to oversee merchandising and marketing.

In 1994 the ratio of store to catalog sales remained constant, with catalog sales growing 27 percent to $25.2 million. Mail-order catalogs comprised 900 pages, displaying 19,000 items, and were sent to 3 million people. Net income in 1994 was $6 million, a 71 percent increase over 1993. Earnings increased 52 percent to 91 cents a share, and revenue surged 38 percent to $169.9 million. Between 1991 and 1995 the company's sales increased at an annual rate of 25 percent, and earnings increased by 47 percent.

In April 1995 Crawford Cole took over as CEO, and Randy Repass remained as chairman. Cole targeted 90 markets for new stores, and identified 200 potential new markets. Eighteen new stores were opened in 1995, including the first stores in North Carolina, Maine, and Michigan. Cole also publicly announced plans to continue expanding the product line. In the year prior to Cole's assumption of leadership, West Marine had begun to move beyond the sailing industry, aggressively targeting the powerboat market with several hundred products. The power boating market represented a major growth area for the company, since it is substantially larger than the sailing market (accounting for 85 percent of all boat registrants in 1995).

Later that year West Marine moved its West Coast distribution center from Watsonville to a much larger facility in Hollister, California. At this time, a typical West Marine store carried about 10,000 of the 25,000 items offered by the company, and ranged from 5,000 to 15,000 square feet in size. Since the nearest competitor at this time offered about 14,000 items, West Marine retained its status as category leader. The company ranked 85th on the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies in America roster for 1995.

ACQUISITIONS AND INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION

In July 1996 West Marine finalized its acquisition of competitor E&B Marine. The company issued approximately 600,000 shares ($30 million) in exchange for E&B's stock, and assumed $6 million in long-term debt. The acquisition approximately doubled West Marine's store size and market penetration by adding 62 stores (bringing the total number of stores to more than 130). It also expanded product selection, increased catalog sales to over $300 million, and helped the company achieve economies of scale. Furthermore, the merger allowed West Marine to instantly achieve two goals: penetrating East Coast markets and accessing powerboaters.

E&B Marine originated on the East Coast (with its headquarters in New Jersey), and its primary customer was the small powerboater. In fact, the acquisition lent West Marine a sales presence in 40 markets where it was not previously operating, with very little market overlap. Overall, the merger allowed West Marine to eliminate its closest competitor, accomplish two years of growth in a single year, and become almost four times as large as its nearest remaining competitor, BoatU.S., which had approximately $90 million in 1996 sales.

KEY DATES


1968:
Randolph Repass founds West Coast Ropes, a mail-order business, out of his garage, selling three-strand nylon rope.
1975:
West Coast Ropes opens first store, in Palo Alto, California.
1977:
Some assets of the mail-order company West Products are acquired, and name is changed to West Marine Products.
1991:
First stores on the East Coast, in Miami and Annapolis, open.
1993:
Parent company, West Marine, Inc., is formed and company goes public.
1996:
Merger with competitor E&B Marine is concluded.
2003:
Retail, warehouse and catalog divisions of BoatU.S. are acquired.

Integrating E&B Marine into the organization proved a difficult process. Sales dropped almost 8 percent and net income went from $15 million in 1997 to only $1.1 million in 1998. The board took action, recognizing that the organization could no longer be run by people who were "boaters first and businessmen second," according to a profile in Supply Chain Management Review in March 2006. West Marine significantly increased its management strength and experience by hiring John Edmondson as president and CEO in 1998. A retail veteran, Edmondson hired a senior management team with retail experience in information technology, logistics, and planning. Edmondson focused on distribution and supply processes, improving the selection of products, increasing advertising, training employees, and investing more in e-commerce.

During this same period, the company also began expanding its international business. In 1996, the majority of West Marine's foreign catalog business was in five markets. By concentrating its catalog marketing on boating markets that had few good local services, the company was able to diversify its sales. By 1999, the company was shipping to 150 countries, and the majority of sales was spread over 25 markets. West Marine continued to emphasize customer service in this area as well. Order forms were printed in six languages and a team of multilingual customer service reps worked out of an international call center at company headquarters. Between 1998 and 2001, the company grew from 217 stores to 240 stores in 38 states and Puerto Rico plus sales through the company's catalog and the Internet.

CONTINUED EXPANSION

In 2002, West Marine moved into Canada, opening two stores. Growth continued despite uncertain economic conditions following the terrorist attacks on New York City in 2001, although in a different way. As homeowners turned to do-it-yourself projects and boaters were more likely to buy maintenance products than new equipment, the company introduced a new, smaller store format, called West Marine Express, in Monterey and Mission Bay, California. At 2,500 to 3,000 square feet, the Express stores were about one-third the size of the usual West Marine shop and carried about 3,000 items primarily needed for the daily upkeep and repair of a boat. By 2006, there would be 29 Express stores on the East and West coasts.

In January 2003, West Marine bought the retail and catalog divisions of BoatU.S., its biggest competitor. The additional 62 stores increased the company's locations from 257 to 325 and, with catalog and wholesale, gave West Marine 10 percent of the market. The company carried 50,000 items, and the annual catalog ran to 1,000 pages. In addition to its big catalog, the company also published 30 versions of smaller books twice a month along with other advertising materials.

That same year, West Marine introduced another new formata 25,000-square-foot "destination" store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The superstore offered customers some 15,000 items as well as a huge wall mural of the history of boating in Fort Lauderdale, a play area for kids where they and their parents could learn to tie various knots, a 36-foot Luhrs boat at the entrance, and a library with nautical literature. In 2004, the company opened a second superstore in San Diego.

NAVIGATING CHANGE: 2005 AND BEYOND

When John Edmondson retired at the end of 2004, West Marine hired Peter Harris to be president and CEO. Harris brought 24 years of CEO experience to the company, including leading FAO Schwarz and the San Francisco 49ers. He also had experience implementing successful turnarounds.

With devastating hurricanes and rising fuel prices, 2005 was a tough year. The company grew by 40 stores and focused on the customer. One new initiative was the establishment of a product reliability task force. This came about after Randy Repass sailed his yacht into the South Pacific testing thousands of products. The "gear feedback" program asked boaters to comment on three areas: products that worked very well; those hard to use or unreliable; and those with confusing instructions.

Difficult conditions continued in 2006, particularly concerning fuel prices. Despite this, the company opened eight new stores, including two "inland" stores that put more emphasis on smaller powerboats, fishing, water sports, and family boating. West Marine continued to strengthen its systems that enabled stores to offer product assortments to meet local needs.

In 2007, the company changed the name of its BoatU.S. stores to West Marine, in the hope of reducing costs required to run to separate chains as well as eliminating any confusion between its retail operations and the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.), a separate, unrelated organization that sold West Marine its retail operations in 2003. Net sales continued to drop during 2007, as did sales in stores open more than one year, although Internet and catalog sales increased. Fuel costs and the declining housing market were likely factors in the softening of boating activity. West Marine expected to maximize sales during this challenging period by focusing on quality merchandise and on customer service, such as offering free ground shipping of orders of $99 or more. With such a significant share of the market, as well as a respected name, West Marine appeared to be in good position to ride out the economic bumps.

Heidi Feldman

Updated, Ellen D. Wernick

PRINCIPAL DIVISIONS

Stores; Port Supply; Direct Sales.

PRINCIPAL COMPETITORS

Coast Distribution; Marine Max.

FURTHER READING

Beckett, Gary, "West, E&B Forge a $300 Million Giant," Soundings: Trade Only, May 1996, pp. 1, 73.

Benjamin, Jeff, "It's Smooth Sailing for Shares of a Boat Supplier," Investment News, March 4, 2002, p. 17.

Carlton, Rachel, "Fishing for a Sale: West Marine Reels in Customers with Exciting Visuals," Display & Design Ideas, October 2003, p. 30.

"Community Update, San Francisco," Montgomery Securities, April 29, 1996.

Cropper, Carol Marie, "Some Stocks that Waft on the Summer Breezes," New York Times, March 3, 1996, p. 3.

"Earnings Uptick Predicted by Boating Supply Merchant," Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, June 22, 2001, p. 8.

"Everyone's a Critic," Yachting, March 1, 2005, p. 38.

Finnerty, Brian, "West Marine Inc.: Sailing Its Way to a Leading Market Position," Investor's Business Daily, July 13, 1994.

Galarza, Pablo, "Boat-Supply Retailer Launching More Stores," Investor's Business Daily, April 5, 1995.

Kurowski, Jeff, "West Marine CEO Outlines Changes," Boating Industry, April 1999, p. 8.

Loibner, Dieter, "Some Insights from the Man Behind West Marine," Soundings Trade Only, March 2003, p. 22.

Mencke, Claire, "Retailer Builds Lead in Boat Gear Business," Investor's Business Daily, February 2, 1994, p. A3.

Michelman, Nancy, "Behind the Boat," BOAT/U.S. Magazine, July 2007.

Morris, Keiko, "Randy Repass: Rough Waters Cleared, West Marine Hopes for Clear Sailing," Entrepreneurial Award Finalist, May 20, 1996.

Much, Marilyn, "High Sails: West Marine Powers Ahead by Putting Customer First," Investor's Business Daily, August 25, 1995.

"Peter Harris to Join West Marine at CEO in January," Business Wire, December 8, 2004.

Smith, Larry, "West Marine: A CPFR Success Story," Supply Chain Management Review, March 2006, p. 29.

Stone, Rebecca, "West Marine Introduces New Program," Trailer Boats, May 2005, p. 17.

"Stores Change Names to West Marine," BOAT/U.S. Magazine, January 2006, p. 28.

Turner, Nick, "West Marine's Randy Repass: A Profitable Odyssey from Silicon Valley to the Sea," Investor's Business Daily, May 13, 1996.

"West Marine, Inc.," Wall Street Transcript, October 29, 2001, p. 123.

"West Marine, Inc. Rolled Out Its New West Marine Express Format in California," Chain Store Age, July 2002, p. 22.

"West Marine: Smooth Sailing," Kiplinger's Pick of the Day Web Feature, March 11, 2003.

"West Marine's Shipshape New System," Catalog Age, July 1, 2003.

Yorgey, Lisa, "Navigating Global Waters," Target Marketing, February 1999, p. 74.

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West Marine, Inc.

West Marine, Inc.

500 Westridge Drive
Watsonville, California 95076
U.S.A.
(408) 728-2700
Fax: (408) 728-2736

Public Company
Incorporated:
1993
Employees: 3,000
Sales: $224.2 million (1994)
Stock Exchanges: NASDAQ
SICs: 5551 Boat Dealers; 5961 Catalog & Mail-Order Houses; 6719 Holding Companies, Not Elsewhere Classified

West Marine, Inc., is the leading distributor of marine supplies to recreational boaters, and the largest and most profitable boat supply chain in the nation. Marine supplies for sailboats and powerboatsincluding recreational boating supplies, sporting goods, and sophisticated navigational equipmentare sold through three divisions: Store (retail and wholesale, 74 percent), Catalog (retail, 15 percent) and Port Supply (wholesale, 11 percent). The company was founded as West Marine Products, Inc., in Palo Alto in 1975 by Randolph Repass, a former engineer with a love of boating and a vision for a customer-friendly, product-heavy marine supply store. Through its stores, the companynow based in Watsonville, Californiasells boating clothes, navigational equipment, life jackets, and other marine supplies.

Company Origins

West Marines success is largely due to the visionary leadership of its founder, Randolph Repass. Repass first tasted the boating supply business through his homespun operation of West Coast Ropesa garage-based business selling rope used for boating linesin 1968. Raised by a family that was very involved with recreational and sport boating in Bostons south suburbs, Repass had studied electrical engineering at Duke University, then moved to Californias Silicon Valley to work as an engineer for Fairchild Cameraq and Instruments in 1966. At Fairchild, Repass was critical of managements reluctance to give employees the free rein he felt they needed to excel at their jobs. He left Fairchild for a technology company, Nortec, where he didnt stay long either. By 1973, married with two children, Repass started his own consulting firm, Semiconductor Engineering Associates. When Repass purchased a 13-foot sailboat for $250the best he could afford at the timehe went shopping for boating supplies and found that most stores were lacking in both product selection and trained personnel. Repass correctly identified a need for a marine accessories retailer carrying a wide selection of products. When he opened the first West Marine store in Palo Alto in 1975, it was indeed the first retailer of its size and selection in the underserved industry.

Repasss business philosophy encompasses a liberal and caring attitude toward both the customer and the employee. Employee empowerment is a key concept at West Marine, and Repass involves all employees in the companys success by means of a stock option after their first year of employment. Customers appreciate West Marines innovative return policy, which provides for replacement, refund, or repair of any item with no time limit. West Marine was one of the first companies in the country to implement such a liberal return policy.

In its first year of existence, West Marine carried approximately 600 marine supply items. Business was not instantly successful. In fact, during the first year it was not uncommon for an entire day to pass with no customers, and the companys bills were paid with the earnings of Repasss consulting business. Repass lived on a boat in Santa Cruz and spent numerous evenings in a sleeping bag behind the store counter. However, he worked hard to keep the atmosphere upbeat and staff spirits high, and longtime employees remember both the hard work and the fun of those early days. Repasss hard work and initial investment of $25,000 paid off, and West Marine began to grow quickly in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By 1983, the company had ten stores, and by 1992, a second distribution center was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina, and 27 stores were in operation. The mail order business was added in 1979. In 1982, needing more space, the company moved its headquarters from Palo Alto to Santa Cruz.

Aggressive Expansion in the 1990s

West Marine reached a turning point in 1989 as a result of recurrent financial difficulties. With 15 stores and a presence in the professional market, it was time to move in a new direction. Repass took three months off to build a house, spend time with his family, and reflect on the companys future. He returned with renewed vigor and plans to develop the company into a category killer (meaning that West Marine stores would carry approximately twice as many items as its closest competitors). The company updated its computer system to produce daily store reports and real-time inventory checks for its telemarketing staff, and also hired a new group of managers, including Crawford Colea former auto industry executiveas president. In 1988 the company moved its headquarters from Santa Cruz to its current location in Watsonville, California.

In 1990 West Marine had 15 stores, all in the West. In 1991 the company began a process of rapid expansion in an attempt to increase its penetration across the 8,000 miles of shoreline in the continental United States, opening some 31 additional stores by 1994. Between 1992 and 1995 the number of stores increased by an average of 39 percent annually, with new stores established in Florida, Long Island, New England, the Gulf, and the Great Lakes. With pre-opening expenses of about $625,000, most West Marine stores became profitable after two years. The company also diversified its service units, planning half-size stores for smaller communities. Sales from its Port Supply Wholesale Division increased 35 percent (to $20.3 million) in 1993. Net income for 1993 was $3.5 million on sales of $122.8 million, which constituted a 116 percent increase in net income and a 127 percent increase in sales over the previous year.

In 1993 West Marine, Inc., was formed as a parent company for West Marine Products, Inc., and incorporated in California. By 1994, comparable-store sales had leaped by 15.8 percent over the previous year, and the stores initial stock of 600 items had mushroomed to some 18,000 items. 1994 sales were $124.4 milliona 44 percent increase from $88 million the year before. The majority of the increase was accounted for by the 17 store openings that year.

Going Public in 1994

In November 1994 West Marine went public at a price of $14 per share. With 56 stores and approximately seven percent market share, West Marine was recognized as number one of the four industry leadersjoining Boat America Corp., E&B Marine, Inc., and Boaters Worldwhich together represented 16 percent of the $2.2 billion boating supplies industry. To provide expert management, the company bolstered its executive personnel in marketing, merchandising, and inventory. Harvey Durand, whose background was in drug and grocery stores, was hired as president and chief operating officer, and Dennis Hawkins was hired to oversee merchandising and marketing.

In 1994 the ratio of store to catalog sales remained constant, with catalog sales growing 27 percent to $25.2 million. Mailorder catalogs comprised 900 pages, displaying 19,000 items, and were sent to 3,000,000 people. Net income in 1994 was $6 million, a 71 percent increase over 1993. Earnings increased 52 percent to 91 cents a share, and revenue surged 38 percent to $169.9 million. Between 1991 and 1995 the companys sales increased at an annual rate of 25 percent, and earnings increased by 47 percent.

In April 1995 Crawford Cole took over as CEO, and Randy Repass became chairman. Cole targeted 90 markets for new stores, and identified 200 potential new markets. Eighteen new stores were opened in 1995, including first stores in North Carolina, Maine, and Michigan. Cole also publicly announced plans to continue expanding the product line. In the year prior to Coles assumption of leadership, West Marine had begun to move beyond the sailing industry, aggressively targeting the powerboat market with several hundred products. The power boating market represented a major growth area for the company, since it is substantially larger than the sailing market (accounting for 85 percent of all boat registrants in 1995).

Later that year West Marine moved its West Coast distribution center from Watsonville to a much larger facility in Hollister, California. At this time, a typical West Marine store carried about 10,000 of the 25,000 items offered by the company, and ranged from 5,000 to 15,000 square feet in size. Since the nearest competitor at this time offered about 14,000 items, West Marine retained its status as category leader. The company ranked 85th on Forbess 200 Best Small Companies in America roster for 1995.

Company Perspectives:

West Marines mission is to supply and service boating-related products that provide outstanding value to retail, catalog, and wholesale customers. The company is committed to treating all of its customers better than they expect to be treated, and it strives to be regarded as the best in the industry. The company strives to provide a supportive environment for its employees; actively works to reduce its impact on the environment and to improve and protect the marine environment; and earns a reasonable profit proportional to its success and its mission.

Acquisition of E&B Marine in 1996

In July 1996 West Marine finalized its acquisition of competitor E&B Marine, which became a subsidiary. The company issued approximately 600,000 shares ($30 million) in exchange for E&Bs stock, and assumed $6 million in long-term debt. The acquisition approximately doubled West Marines store size and market penetration by adding 62 stores (bringing the total number of stores to more than 130), expanded product selection, increased catalog sales to over $300 million, and helped the company achieve economies of scale. Furthermore, the merger allowed West Marine to instantly achieve two goals: penetrating East Coast markets and accessing powerboaters. E&B Marine originated on the East Coast (with its headquarters in New Jersey), and its primary customer was the small power-boater. In fact, the acquisition lent West Marine a sales presence in 40 markets where it was not previously operating, with very little market overlap. Overall, the merger allowed West Marine to eliminate its closest competitor, accomplish two years of growth in a single year, and become almost four times as large as its nearest remaining competitor (Boat U.S., with approximately $90 million in 1996 sales).

At the same time, West Marine faced a challenge in assimilating the new stores, in that E&B stores were typically much less profitable than West Marines. To accommodate the merger, West Marine cut back on its continuing expansion plans for 1996 and early 1997. The opening of the companys 150th store in San Francisco, in July 1996, was celebrated with Grand Opening festivities. Grand Opening profits benefitted the San Francisco Baykeeper organization, a local nonprofit group.

Principal Subsidiaries

E&B Marine, Inc.; West Marine Products, Inc.

Further Reading

Beckett, Gary, West, E&B Forge a $300 Million Giant, Soundings: Trade Only, May 1996, pp. 1, 73.

Community Update, San Francisco, Montgomery Securities, April 29, 1996.

Cropper, Carol Marie, Some Stocks that Waft on the Summer Breezes, New York Times, March 3, 1996, p. 3.

Finnerty, Brian, West Marine Inc.: Sailing Its Way to a Leading Market Position, Investors Business Daily, July 13, 1994.

Galarza, Pablo, Boat-Supply Retailer Launching More Stores, Investors Business Daily, April 5, 1995.

Investment Analysis, Needham & Company, Inc., February, 1995.

Mencke, Claire, Retailer Builds Lead in Boat Gear Business, Investors Business Daily, February 2, 1994, p. A3.

Morris, Keiko, Randy Repass: Rough Waters Cleared, West Marine Hopes for Clear Sailing, Entrepreneurial Award Finalist, May 20, 1996.

Much, Marilyn, High Sails: West Marine Powers Ahead by Putting Customer First, Investors Business Daily, August 25, 1995.

Small Caps: Review & Outlook, Paine Webber, May 1996.

Turner, Nick, West Marines Randy Repass: A Profitable Odyssey from Silicon Valley to the Sea, Investors Business Daily, May 13, 1996.

Heidi Feldman

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"West Marine, Inc.." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"West Marine, Inc.." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved December 10, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/west-marine-inc-0