West Marine

www.westmarine.com

West Marine Reviews

Updated January 21, 2015
Updated January 21, 2015
95 Reviews
3.0
95 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
West Marine President & CEO Matthew Hyde
Matthew Hyde
36 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The best reason to work here is the short commute if you live in Santa Cruz, and the Employee discount (in 16 reviews)

  • Really none associate discount about the same as shopping around online (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Expect low pay, low hours, no benefits and high expectations (in 7 reviews)

  • It is as though they do everything to keep many from achieving a full time status (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great job for a person who enjoys boating

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at West Marine

    Pros

    Great computer modules available to enhance your understanding of products and processes. Enjoy the local sailing scene and it is great to network while working.

    Cons

    Because it is a retail environment, sometimes there is a disconnect between how the top level executives view things and how things are in reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Visit the stores more often for longer periods of time instead of rushing through a planned visit. Might be surprised at how different things are.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good place to get started in the retail and boating workforce.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager II in Tigard, OR
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager II in Tigard, OR

    I worked at West Marine full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -My store manager (Jay) was arguably the best manager I've ever worked for.
    -Flexible hours.
    -Low pressure environment.
    -Plenty of opportunity to grow in product knowledge and training.
    -Clean store.

    Cons

    -Upper management had no clue how to deal with a smaller sized retail store. This became apparent to me after working there for one month and I was only part way through college at the time.
    - Upper management cared more about the bottom line sales for each month, rather than fostering a relationship with the customer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Know your target demographic. They pushed in all sorts of useless inventory that we were never going to be able to sell and then we couldn't get rid of it. For example, we had tons of overpriced, low quality fishing gear and less than half a mile away was a store called Fisherman's that was full of fishing gear and competitively priced. The store should have catered to the Lake Oswego crowd people that went out on the Willamette. Not offshore fishermen.
    -The regional manager would come in and pick on some of the dumbest things like how some price tags were fading from dark yellow to light yellow, while ignoring everything I just mentioned from above. Trust your middle management and don't micro manage them, whats the point of their job if you are just going to override all of their decisions you don't like and take credit for the good ones they make.

    Everything here has to do with the management of the small store I was at. I cannot speak to the environment of a flagship store like he Portland or Seattle locations.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Lacking employee respect

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at West Marine full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    You get a great discount on purchases

    Cons

    Not at all in touch with the cost of living for employees. I'm a manager and have not received a raise in 6 years, not even a cost of living increase.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go out and actually work in a store rather than make your short inspections, you'll be surprised at how little most of your employees actually know. The employee training is a bit of a joke. You may actually find out what your customers want too.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Sales Assc Role Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

    I worked at West Marine

    Pros

    It's a good place to start. They pay well and give people an opportunity to take what they know and expand on it. It can get a little tedious, but it helps to have a passion for the water

    Cons

    There were not a lot of employees, and some people had to find other posts when the season slowed down. I suppose that's to be expected

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Way to focused on little things that don't affect sales

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at West Marine part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Discounts, hours, PTO, Great for college students in the summer

    Cons

    Managers are basically robots controlled by the big names in Watsonville. Pay. Computer system. District Managers push "chats" to confuse associates on the proper way of handling a situation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have some of the people at HQ in Watsonville come work at a store for a week. Then you will realize how a retail store works.
    I think the IT help desk is doing all they can to fix the daily problems with our computers but come on, Spend a bit more and get a more reliable system to the stores and not just promise them every so often.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    The culture and location of West Marine Corporate offices can't be beat!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watsonville, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watsonville, CA

    I worked at West Marine full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Location, right off the highway in Watsonville, on a reverse commute for most people. Culture, many people have worked there for a very long time. Everyone knows each other and many are friends outside of work. The corporate offices really care about their retail customers and strive every day to put the customers needs in front of everyone else.

    Cons

    With the location, comes lower pay. Since many people have been there for a long time, you have a bit of stag-net thinking and sometimes it's a struggle to change mindset's. It also means that turn over is low and finding a career path can be difficult.This company is struggling for market share in a world that is conserving money and mostly buying things online for cheap, with that comes stress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give employees a career path, incentive to adapt to the ever changing world and take action when issues are brought to the fore-front.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Marine Retail

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - AM1
    Current Employee - AM1

    I have been working at West Marine full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great customers, fun business to be a part of. Great product discounts. Good sale associates to work with.
    Good job for students and retired people.

    Cons

    Get to work all Holidays and weekends, benefits for full time employees are great as long as you don't need to go to the hospital and have to pay the deductible. Upper management could, care less about the people that actually bring in the money for the company. IT is so far out of date by the time the new system is rolled out it too will be antiquated. Can't afford to be a full time employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Require all members of the Corporate Marketing Team to spend time actually "Working " at a retail stores they understand what they are actually work with, fire the IT department and out source IT to a company that can keep the system current.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at West Marine

    Pros

    great discounts and work environment.

    Cons

    Pay a bit low to start

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Fun job if you like boats.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at West Marine

    Pros

    You get a 2 hour lunch break and get paid 10 dollars an hour.

    Cons

    Some of the managers are mean

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Confederacy of dunces

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watsonville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watsonville, CA

    I have been working at West Marine full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Generally friendly and well-meaning employees, good location (counter commute), good employee boating and discount program. Not a demanding workplace.

    Cons

    Management is clueless. We have an unfortunate mix of really mediocre managers from the early days who have held on and newly recruited managers who don't understand the business. We are frugal to the point of being stupid, and because of a decade of mismanagement in IT, we are going to be completely irrelevant to Amazon in a few years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the company private so we don't constantly chase short-term earnings instead of investing in the company's employees and infrastructure. Fire the entire IT dept and outsource this mess,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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