Boating products retail chain West Marine has made omnichannel a top priority, ensuring store inventory visible to online shoppers.

Boating products and accessories retailer West Marine Products has a new owner: Private investment firm Monomoy Capital Partners bought the company for $338 million in cash.

West Marine, No. 350 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, is Monomoy’s only current portfolio company ranked in the Internet Retailer Top 500. Other portfolio companies include furniture manufacturer Klaussner Home Furnishings, air conditioner manufacturer Friedrich and building products distributor Construction Resources.

In West Marine, Monomoy gets a retailer that is growing steadily online. In its fourth quarter 2016 earnings release in February, West Marine reported that online sales accounted for 11.4% of its total revenue in 2016, or $80.2 million, up 19.8% from $67.0 million in 2015, when online accounted for 9.5% of revenue.

“We strongly support West Marine’s vision for the future, strategic initiatives and culture,” Monomoy co-CEO Daniel Collin said. “We are excited to invest in and work together with the company’s management team to continue to lead the industry.”

Part of West Marine’s strategy includes better leveraging its stores to cater to online shoppers. During Q4 2016, the retailer made its inventory available at each store visible on its website. West Marine CEO Matt Hyde told analysts on the retailer’s Q1 2017 earnings call in April that this led to a 7% decrease in online orders being shipped to store locations, but that drop was not because of a lack of interest in the retailer’s products.


“Our analysis has shown that customers who check their local store inventory are less likely to use the ship-to-store functionality but rather just shop in the store,” he said on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “From this, we’ve experienced a transfer of sales from online into our retail stores, because we are able to immediately satisfy our customers, increase store traffic and save on logistics cost. We view this as a positive shift for West Marine.”