West Marine

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For the British boat manufacturer company see: West Marine Ltd. (Peel Engineering)
Not to be confused with West Marin.
West Marine
Type Public (NASDAQWMAR)
Industry specialty retail and wholesale
Founded 1968
Headquarters Watsonville, California
Number of locations 325+[1]
Key people Randy Repass (Founder)
Matt Hyde (President & CEO)
Products boating supply
Employees 5,000 (varies by season)
Website www.westmarine.com

West Marine is an American company based in Watsonville, California which operates a chain of boating supply and fishing retail stores. The company has over 300 retail stores in North America, including Puerto Rico and Canada, and also has three franchised stores in Turkey.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1968 by Randy Repass in Sunnyvale, California with the name West Coast Ropes, selling nylon rope from his 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 and 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 BoatU.S. Product Division. 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 stores nationwide.

In December 2007, Geoff Eisenberg replaced Peter Harris as the company's president and chief executive officer.[2] 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.[3]

Matt Hyde joined West Marine in June 2012 as Chief Executive Officer and President. Previously, Matt served as Executive Vice President of REI, where he was responsible for Marketing, Direct Sales, Real Estate and Retail.

Operations[edit]

West Marine currently provides over 75,000 products online, in stores, and via mail-order catalog.

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 is 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.

References[edit]

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