Unfortunately, my new "friend" went behind my back and this past Saturday told the staff at our local West Marine store, at 2827 Festival Lane, Dublin OH, that effective immediately their store hours would be cut back to Tues-Sun, 10 AM - 5 PM.
Let's pause a moment to reflect on the likelihood that the majority of boat owners -- many of whom, like me, work for a living -- will ever be able to shop at the West Marine between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM.
Okay, shall we continue? Yeah.... NO. It's just not possible, at least for me, and I can't imagine how such a decision could be conducive to the short-term or long-term success of West Marine's Dublin store. My complaints have nothing to do with losing the ability to buy marine goodies at excellent prices, because I can often find a lower price on what I need at some of the other internet marine retailers. My complaint is about no longer having a place to fondle marine goodies, stroll the aisles of eye-candy and fun toys, get helpful advice from the friendly staff members, and engage in 'community' with fellow Central Ohio boaters.
I try not to be 'that guy' -- the one who whines and complains and lives in a state of helplessness. If you feel as I do about the loss of realistic shopping hours at your local West Marine, please consider joining me in taking the following actions:
- Call West Marine's corporate office at 831-728-2700 to let them know that you will no longer be able to shop at their store with their new hours of operation and propose an alternative that would resolve the issue. (For me, having the store open from 11 AM - 6 PM would do the trick.)
- Instead of using the 'Ship to Store' feature when ordering from the West Marine web site, identify the item number(s) you wish to buy and call your local store to place the order. You still benefit by not paying for shipping, and the store benefits by getting credit for the sale. A more profitable store is more likely to receive favorable attention from the corporate office!
- In this age of social networking and its place as a critical part of corporate marketing strategy, turn a Facebook Friend into a Facebook Frenemy by posting your concerns on West Marine's Wall. You can even un-Friend them if it makes you feel better.
Kaye, thank you for staying a few minutes late this evening so that I could pick up some marine-grade duplex wire and a buss bar for my re-wiring project. I hated to impose upon you, and I appreciate how gracious and helpful you were (and always are.) I hope to see you and your staff many more times this Winter as I dream and scheme and shop in preparation for sailing season 2011.