of boating parts and accessories, and
greatly increased lifestyle offerings, including apparel, footwear, and accessories.
In-store services include a rigging shop,
engine parts counter, port supply fulfillment services, and megayacht supply area.
THE MAN Y WORLDS OF BOATING
The design and construction of the new
flagship was a collaboration between West
Marine’s in-house visual merchandising and store design team, Boston-based
design firm Bergmeyer Associates Inc., and
Fort Lauderdale-based developer Stiles,
which served as land and building developer as well as architect of record.
Bergmeyer’s Matt Hyatt, who served as
project architect, noted that West Marine
brought together the store management
team, including the Fort Lauderdale team,
operations team, merchants, graphics
team, visual team, and others together for
frank, no-holds-barred discussions early in
the project. “Everyone’s voice was heard,
and it really resulted in a shared sense of
ownership in the store,” he says.
“Having everyone involved at the beginning of the project helped identify areas
of opportunity early in the project and
made for a richer end product,” says Rachel
Zsembery, a senior associate at Bergmeyer
who served as project manager.
The intent, she says, was not to reinvent,
but to refine the design and “up the volume
and wow factor.” Joe Nevin, Bergmeyer’s
senior principal, says, “West Marine was
poised for this. We were able to come in,
The design balances the retailer’s technical core products (boating equipment and hardware)
and lifestyle products by presenting merchandise categories in separate “worlds” within
the store. Focal elements visible from the entry provide a quick orientation.
look at all the great work that they have
done over the last several years, keep the
best elements, and add some new elements
West Marine wanted to encourage cus-
tomers who come into the store for a spe-
cific item to spend more time browsing
in other departments. While large, the
space needed to be easy for customers to
navigate and shop. “It was very important
that we create a balance between all of the
diverse lines of products that they have,
so that the customer experience in each
of those areas is authentic and balanced,”
The resulting design balances both the
retailer’s technical core products and the
lifestyle products by presenting all mer-
chandise categories in separate “worlds”
within the store. Focal elements visible
from the entry provide a quick orientation.
For example, the megayacht flybridge helps
shoppers quickly locate electronics, a bait
shack structure identifies fishing, and a dis-
play of colorful tow tubes guides shoppers
to the watersports area.
NAUTICAL AUTHENTICIT Y
West Marine, with many longstanding vendor relationships, has developed
a collection of fixtures for its regional
flagship stores that have proven effective. Bergmeyer worked with the retailer
and vendors to leverage that existing