West Marine's Response to the Coronavirus

West Marine Customers & Partners,

On behalf of our leadership team and all our associates, I want to send thoughts and well wishes as you and the people important in your life navigate unsettling times. As part of our continuing commitment to keep our customers and business partners informed during these challenging times, I want to provide an update on additional actions we are taking to protect everyone’s health and the health of our company.

In many markets, we have been functioning with either limited or expanded operating hours due to our classification as an essential business because of the large number of government and first responder accounts we serve. Like you, we have been monitoring the changing landscape as new measures are put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19. As you know, governors in many states have declared “stay-at-home” directives, closed all non-essential businesses and taken other preventative measures. Similar measures in other states and local communities are likely to be issued in the coming days.

These unprecedented measures have made it necessary for us to take these additional actions:

  • Close approximately 20 percent of our retail stores and adjust operating hours in other stores to serve our customers. All stores that remain open will continue to implement preventative practices and follow health guidelines such as social distancing.
  • Reduce schedules and shifts in both of our distribution centers to focus only on e-commerce and resupplying stores.
  • Reduce by at least 50 percent our staff and resources in our corporate headquarters.
  • Significantly reduce salaries for the Senior Leadership team until operations return to normal.

These changes will occur over the next two days and remain in effect until April 26. Impacted associates will be placed on official furlough during this time. As we previously committed, no West Marine associate will be required to work if they are not comfortable doing so.

We are fortunate to have such a strong company with loyal customers and dedicated associates. I remain very confident we will resume our strong business model as soon as possible. I am deeply sympathetic to the challenges the Covid-19 Virus has created for everyone, and like you, I am hoping we find a speedy return to normal.

I wish you and your families good health during these challenging times. We will get through this situation together.

Warm Regards,
Ken Seipel
CEO, West Marine