Flagship Sets Sail
Boating retailer opens its largest store in
the “boating capital of the world” By Tracy Dillon
While much of the recent retail news focuses on large retail- ers reducing their footprints, West Marine has taken a
very different approach. The Watsonville,
Calif.-based boating supply retailer
opened a new flagship store in Fort
Lauderdale, Fla., in December that, at
50,000 square feet, is twice the size of its
other regional flagships and five times the
size of standard stores.
West Marine’s goal was to open the largest retail boating center in the world, offering more of the products that it sells in its
catalog than in any other location. “When it
comes to boating supplies and accessories,
product selection is the biggest dilemma,”
says Lynn Ferguson, West Marine’s chief
marketing officer and senior vice president. “If you’re on the way to a boating trip,
‘We can have it delivered tomorrow’ does
not meet all our customer expectations.”
The company’s move toward fewer, larger
stores is one way to address this.
Relocated from a 25,000-square-foot
location, the new store offers a wide range
The design and construction of West Marine’s
new flagship was a collaboration between
the retailer’s in-house team, Boston-based
Bergmeyer Associates Inc., and Fort
Lauderdale-based developer Stiles. The store’s
dramatic central element—a massive megayacht
flybridge that towers several stories tall—was
fabricated in large pieces in a nearby shipyard by
a local yachtbuilder and assembled in the store.
Photography: © Richard Cadan Photography, Fairfield, Conn.