trimfast

Annapolis "Performance" Sailing - No More-ish!

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Yesterday, the website of APS changed, with a new section that said "Welcome to the new APS." Among it, was further information about the "New" APS and fact they were no longer going to be selling any line, or hardware. With the removal of line and hardware, the rigging shop will also cease to exist. With it, a wealth of customers information for custom orders which used to be able to be replicated if you needed a replacement, will vanish like fart in the wind. 

You may ask what will be added instead of actual "performance" oriented materials of hardware and line.....Clothing. That is right folks, a "performance" sailing company is now a full fledged clothing store, with maybe some accessories yet to be fully determined.

A once great store, where you could run in and get replacement parts while rigging your boat at SSA, EYC, and the likes fast and efficiently, will now be, hey come get your Helly jacket instead. From the posts on Facebook showing their disapproval of the change, and a line on the  website saying "You spoke and we listened!" , clearly they did not. 

In the mean time, you can get line and hardware 25% off. Stock up, until you have to sell out to West Marine down the street.

Perhaps in addition, a name change as performance, isn't indicated by the clothing one wears. I might suggest Annapolis Panoply Sales, as at least this way, they can still use the same website.

Word of the day, Panoply

1. a wide-ranging and impressive array or display:the dazzling panoply of the maharaja's procession; the panoply of European history.

2. a complete suit of armor.

3. a protective covering.

4. full ceremonial attire or paraphernalia; special dress and equipment.

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Unfortunately nothing new with good hardware / rigging shops going away. See picture of what used to be Land's End. APS has gone from a good resource to just another face in the crowd of specialized outdoor clothing. Too bad. They have already removed the one design rigging pictures. Email sent to APS.

Land's End 1972 catalogue.JPG

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Well, that sucks.  I always liked APS.  Their website was the easiest to navigate and they normally had what I wanted.  Profit margins are probably a lot higher on cloths, it opens them up to a larger audience (since everyone wears clothing.  you don't have to be a boat owner to be a customer), it lets them specialize and limit their inventory, and clothing wares out faster so you replace it more.... There's a ton of business reasons to do it.  Not sure who they were talking to that asked for it unless my fault.... I asked if they carried a Magic Marine hiking harness and was told no.  Maybe they went out and said, you know what.... he's right!  Why do we have blocks and lines?  We need more clothing!  Ooops.  Sorry guys!  my bad.

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I quit trying to get Laser related stuff from them a few years ago.  Shame, first love was Layline, (back in the day) then moved to APS.  Now it's West Coast Sailing.  

Live in South Carolina and get my sailing stuff from the other coast....There is a nice local shop in Charleston called Sailing Inc. where I pick up my Zhik stuff, (until Zhik runs a 50% off deal...).

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Unfortunately this seems the way of the world, great sporting goods companies - "outfitters" - find the margin on clothing seductive to the point they abandon their roots. They then run the risk that fashions change faster than they can keep ahead - leaving them with nothing but last years inventory and no core business. While it lasts the fashion biz can throw off cash. Anybody remember when instead of sullen teenagers, you would find real "sports" at a fine outfitter like Abercrombie and Fitch or Leon Leonwood Bean.

34647.jpgabercrombie-fitch-co-camp-outfits_1_926fA_F_1913_1024x1024.jpg?v=1520484191A_F_1908_1.jpg?v=1520484335

c6c656cab45438973bb84708b75412aa.jpg

 

s3-news-tmp-103031-abercrombie-and-fitch

abercrombie-new-store-1*1024xx585-329-5-

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32 minutes ago, trimfast said:

No More-ish!

I kinda licke Ish, exspecialley when he gettes worked up abote silley thiges.  Hese commettes our cleavere, cutteng, verrey funney.

"I willebe returneng to SA soone hungrey forre moirre Ish"        - A. Ego -

:)

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The Land's End comparison is not far off.  Abercrombie, Eddie Bauer... there are a few.  Hopefully there is still a market for all their rigging, especially the OD stuff, and a rigger can pick up the business.  

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Even though they've been one of our competitors, I've had great respect for the business Kyle built.

This is a hard industry, no question, and I'm sure Kyle thought long and hard about the most profitable way forward for his business.

 

For what it's worth, I've gotten a lot of messages of support from our customers.
We've offered to Kyle and his team to purchase the majority, or just all, of their dinghy parts.  I haven't heard back yet, but this is a standing offer for me to get on a plane with a blank check and buy that from them.

We're also trying to communicate with them that any of their staff that are going to be displaced, should apply here, as we could make homes for them.

Finally, we were already in the middle of it, but we're doubling down on our catalog expansion, building out a full custom rig department, and massively expanding our hardware stock here to serve sportboat and keelboat customers.  We had a staff meeting yesterday, and we're going to focus fully on finishing that project over the next month or two so we can support sailors with the hardware, line and parts they need.

- George

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25% off line and hardware.  Guess I'll be buying my new sheets this weekend, but this sucks!  They had the best selection in Annapolis.

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26 minutes ago, WestCoast said:

Even though they've been one of our competitors, I've had great respect for the business Kyle built.

This is a hard industry, no question, and I'm sure Kyle thought long and hard about the most profitable way forward for his business.

 

For what it's worth, I've gotten a lot of messages of support from our customers.
We've offered to Kyle and his team to purchase the majority, or just all, of their dinghy parts.  I haven't heard back yet, but this is a standing offer for me to get on a plane with a blank check and buy that from them.

We're also trying to communicate with them that any of their staff that are going to be displaced, should apply here, as we could make homes for them.

Finally, we were already in the middle of it, but we're doubling down on our catalog expansion, building out a full custom rig department, and massively expanding our hardware stock here to serve sportboat and keelboat customers.  We had a staff meeting yesterday, and we're going to focus fully on finishing that project over the next month or two so we can support sailors with the hardware, line and parts they need.

- George

APS were our go-to for Farr 30 OD parts.  It was great knowing that you could order a halyard or sheets from them and get exactly the right line.  We just ordered a Tuff Luff from them, and it came in the exact correct length and with all the bits to make installing it a piece of cake.

If you were to add Farr 30's to your list of OD boats you supply, that would be awesome!

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2 hours ago, KC375 said:

Unfortunately this seems the way of the world, great sporting goods companies - "outfitters" - find the margin on clothing seductive to the point they abandon their roots. They then run the risk that fashions change faster than they can keep ahead - leaving them with nothing but last years inventory and no core business. While it lasts the fashion biz can throw off cash. Anybody remember when instead of sullen teenagers, you would find real "sports" at a fine outfitter like Abercrombie and Fitch or Leon Leonwood Bean.

34647.jpgabercrombie-fitch-co-camp-outfits_1_926fA_F_1913_1024x1024.jpg?v=1520484191A_F_1908_1.jpg?v=1520484335

c6c656cab45438973bb84708b75412aa.jpg

 

s3-news-tmp-103031-abercrombie-and-fitch

abercrombie-new-store-1*1024xx585-329-5-

I still have an Abercrombie and Fitch tennis racket press.

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Bigger question?

Where will we get british abstruse hardware now?

They could actually get that stuff. Needed some very old RWO part for my 505. They got it. Took 2 months but I'm not complaining!

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The other day I ordered a part from Amazon that I would normally have gotten from APS, they were the same price, but free 2 day shipping and the ease of checkout made me choose Amazon. At the time I wondered if decisions like that would kill APS and the like, looks like it did. Amazon is doing to specialist internet retailers what Walmart did to mom and pop shops.

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6 hours ago, fastyacht said:

What about Fawcett? Are they still around?

Was there yesterday.  Didn't see anything unusual.

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9 hours ago, RobbieB said:

I quit trying to get Laser related stuff from them a few years ago.  Shame, first love was Layline, (back in the day) then moved to APS.  Now it's West Coast Sailing.  

Live in South Carolina and get my sailing stuff from the other coast....There is a nice local shop in Charleston called Sailing Inc. where I pick up my Zhik stuff, (until Zhik runs a 50% off deal...).

+1 on West Coast Sailing. I’ve had great experiences with them for years. With dinghy gear.

I’ve spent plenty at APS too. I’ll miss that.

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7 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I still have an Abercrombie and Fitch tennis racket press.

I have a pretty full fly fishing kit from them. Not that I'm much of fisherman but it's truely lovely gear.

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4 minutes ago, KC375 said:

I have a pretty full fly fishing kit from them. Not that I'm much of fisherman but it's truely lovely gear.

That's *really* cool!

(I was flyfishing today actually).

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19 hours ago, WestCoast said:

Even though they've been one of our competitors, I've had great respect for the business Kyle built.

This is a hard industry, no question, and I'm sure Kyle thought long and hard about the most profitable way forward for his business.

 

For what it's worth, I've gotten a lot of messages of support from our customers.
We've offered to Kyle and his team to purchase the majority, or just all, of their dinghy parts.  I haven't heard back yet, but this is a standing offer for me to get on a plane with a blank check and buy that from them.

We're also trying to communicate with them that any of their staff that are going to be displaced, should apply here, as we could make homes for them.

Finally, we were already in the middle of it, but we're doubling down on our catalog expansion, building out a full custom rig department, and massively expanding our hardware stock here to serve sportboat and keelboat customers.  We had a staff meeting yesterday, and we're going to focus fully on finishing that project over the next month or two so we can support sailors with the hardware, line and parts they need.

- George

Let us know what we can do to help

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Was my goto place for equipment.  Always seemed to have what I need.  New APS is just another clothing store.  Guess they figure by losing one customer they will gain 2.

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Very disappointed to hear this news.

APSLTD.com was our go to and constantly recommended to fellow sailors when ever in need of quick turn around on good product. 

OK WestCoast, here we come.

Good by old friend.

 

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Yeah, but can you make MORE money selling clothing within WALKING distance of EYC, SSA, and AYC?

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For awhile probably, but there are 100 other stores doing about the same thing not that far away and fashion changes. The margins are HUGE though, I am betting well over 50%. Margins on marine stuff - not so much. Their website is bullshit though, I suspect exactly *0* customers ever said "I wish you had more shirts and less shackles" :rolleyes:

Lands End did OK with that and West Marine has a lot of display space for clothes.

* speaking of which, Helly Hansen stuff gets shoplifted out of the Annapolis West Marine store often from what they told me. One perp acts up at one end of the store and perp 2 runs out with the HH.

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33 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

For awhile probably, but there are 100 other stores doing about the same thing not that far away and fashion changes. The margins are HUGE though, I am betting well over 50%. Margins on marine stuff - not so much. Their website is bullshit though, I suspect exactly *0* customers ever said "I wish you had more shirts and less shackles" :rolleyes:

Lands End did OK with that and West Marine has a lot of display space for clothes.

* speaking of which, Helly Hansen stuff gets shoplifted out of the Annapolis West Marine store often from what they told me. One perp acts up at one end of the store and perp 2 runs out with the HH.

That sounds like 20 years ago. Or was that Nautica. Damn. I can't keep up with all the crossovers.

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Bizzare. 

 

Who in their right mind buys clothes at retail from APS? This seems like a very ill advised move. 

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A lot of their disappearance had to do with technological change, but how many camera/photography stores are around now? Lots of people go into stores that sell high end stuff, handle the products, get advice, and then buy it at a big box or on line.

I liked APS and I'll miss them.

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I can understand them doing what they have to do to stay in business, but it sucks. APS was always my go to website. Damn. 

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22 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Sure. Just got some line from them yesterday.

If fawcetts expanded their line selection to what APS kept on the wall, they'd really be pretty close to filling the void. and I remember when They seemed to put most of their focus on selling shoes. in the past year or two there have  been several occasions where my first stop was APS and found what I was looking for at Fawcetts.

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48 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I can understand them doing what they have to do to stay in business, but it sucks. APS was always my go to website. Damn. 

This seems 180 degrees from the move to keep them in business. No one goes there for clothes, people go for hardware and get clothes while they happen to be there.

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18 minutes ago, doghouse said:

This seems 180 degrees from the move to keep them in business. No one goes there for clothes, people go for hardware and get clothes while they happen to be there.

I’ve never been there. They were my go to online source. 

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9 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I’ve never been there. They were my go to online source. 

Same thing. Its not a place anyone is just visiting for clothing, web or brick and mortar. The only real stand alone clothing would be foulies, and that's a once every half a decade to decade purchase. And I dont know why anyone would even do that with Amazon availabile.

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Damn.  I was able to find just about anything Laser-related that I needed from them, though truthfully it's been some time since I bought anything from them.  I really miss the Layline from twenty years ago.

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13 hours ago, IStream said:

Yeah, but can you make MORE money selling clothing within WALKING distance of EYC, SSA, and AYC?

I doubt it. too far off the beaten path.

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8 hours ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

I doubt it. too far off the beaten path.

I doubt it too. I suspect most of their clothing sales were to people there to buy line or a cotter pin.

 

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12 hours ago, S291sailor said:

Three words: Sturgis Boat Works

You forgot one word

Sucks

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On 8/9/2019 at 3:55 PM, Mizzmo said:

The other day I ordered a part from Amazon that I would normally have gotten from APS, they were the same price, but free 2 day shipping and the ease of checkout made me choose Amazon. At the time I wondered if decisions like that would kill APS and the like, looks like it did. Amazon is doing to specialist internet retailers what Walmart did to mom and pop shops.

This is one of the reasons I never buy anything off Amazon.

The other is I think Jeff Bezos is a dick.

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On August 9, 2019 at 1:07 PM, Expat Canuck said:

APS were our go-to for Farr 30 OD parts.  It was great knowing that you could order a halyard or sheets from them and get exactly the right line.  We just ordered a Tuff Luff from them, and it came in the exact correct length and with all the bits to make installing it a piece of cake.

If you were to add Farr 30's to your list of OD boats you supply, that would be awesome!

Spent some some time on a Farr 30 that had spin sheets and guys from APS. In a word......perfect. Sheets and guys spliced to one shackle with the hockey puck on the guy. Stripped covers on the sheets. Perfect splices. Perfect lengths. Starbucks would approve.

I hope this void gets filled.

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I ordered some parts a week ago. One is backordered. Wisht I had known about West Coast then.

 

btw, I'm guessing Sturgiss won't be around much longer either.

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On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 11:56 AM, IStream said:

Yeah, but can you make MORE money selling clothing within WALKING distance of EYC, SSA, and AYC?

Exactly. 

My wife saw some coverage of a charity race at Cowes last week.  The Duchess of Goodhair- the wife of the balding only-half-crazy son of Charles and Diana, whassisname - she was helming a yacht and wearing a nice Gil jacket.  My wife checked the Gil site and every other sailing site - they were sold out in an instant.  Sailing gear is fashion gear now it seems... I go to my kid's lacrosse games, see somebody in a Gil or Lloyd jacket and ask, "oh you sail?"  "No, I just like this jacket."  I guess Gil is the low cost Wrangler to Helly's more expensive Levis…  I've found the difference is if the jacket is ratty, they sail, if it's pristine, it's just fashion wear...

As for APS, hell yeah, going to miss them.  The nice thing about the Naptown store is they had a lot of expertise about line selection and other odd little technical bits and bobs having to do with racing - "oh you want this triple block rather than that one, it's as strong but lighter."  Fawcetts is a great sailing generalist store- a lot of expertise there.  West has most of the commonly available items you would need, along with a good and knowledgeable rigging shop - similar to Defender or Fisheries, but with a showcase local store, the TajmaWest.  But they don't have the racing focus with the expertise that comes with it.  I'm guessing I will spend more time doing business with RigRite and Mauri Pro to get rigging advice and racing equipment.  Which is okay, but it's easier to deal with a local shop or a local branch of a national company, than to deal with a shop that is internet-only, at least in my market.  I understand the "why," particularly for a publicly traded company.... But it's still a bummer. 

Oh well.  Good time to refresh the spin sheets and guys, I s'pose. 

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50 minutes ago, ChiGuy said:

I ordered some parts a week ago. One is backordered. Wisht I had known about West Coast then.

 

btw, I'm guessing Sturgiss won't be around much longer either.

What is the website for west Coast?

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We too are sad to see APS go this route. As competitors we also sold to them. Our goals are always to support sailors but will never be able to compete or try to compete with the Amazon model which I think APS did a little. Giving away shipping kills a small business. Please understand this as they are eliminating the small margin items. For us air Sail22 we still plan to attend events and keep expanding our website which will go into high gear now as we are seeing increased orders which we are ready for. If you don't see something online just send us a note and we will do everything we can to support your sailing needs.

We have a busy next couple months as we will be at Melges 24 NA's, J/111 Worlds, J/24 Nationals, V15 Nationals and J/70 NA's before we are in Annapolis for the boat show. 

Sincerely,

Ed, Becky and the Sail22 Team.

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and yes we are left to deal with WM..    for ex.  they have a line sale, 50% off the line i'd like for a new halyard..  enter 60' which then says we don't have that much , we've add the length we have to your cart...    curious, i go check it out...     2 feet...   that's what they have left..  ffs..

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Our view about this: indeed, APS has been a well respected player in our industry. Kyle iand the team are a great crowd. I am sure it has not been an easy decision and while unexpected, I cannot say I am surprised. The hardware part of the business is a tough one. We at Vela, love it and will keep pushing for it, yet that does not mean is an easy path especially when the goal is to offer a solution to each sailor, which goes beyond selling a part. We are carrying a good chunk of the "obscure" parts/brands such as Allen Brothers, RWO, Viadana, specific spar parts, etc.  as well a true one design support area which goes beyond a list of generic parts but rather the real thing. The other business that are aiming to do the same, understand what it takes and kudos to them as well. APS has done a lot of that for decades and business need to be able to adapt and this is probably their way to do it. Kyle is a smart guy and I am sure they'll do well. Some of you have mentioned....Land's End is an example of  that exact route.

We do this because of our passion for the sport, we love to see it grow and reach far beyond from where it is today, there is no regatta we don't want to do either to race on or support, any coaching opportunity in which are required that we want to pass on. Not easy, there are only so many hours on the day and days on the year, but we are up for the challenge. Vela Sailing is here, growing and offering top of the line parts and improving, expanding and determined to not let down any sailor.

 

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On 8/10/2019 at 11:25 AM, Bull City said:

many camera/photography stores are around now? 

Dog grooming/boarding outfit took over the last great camera store around here.   Another local camera shop now a ‘high-end’ water store.  Weird times for retail.

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I stopped using APS after the 3rd or 4th time they processed my order, waited a week and sent me an automated "your item is on back order and will ship when we feel like it" kinda thing.

Sail 22 is awesome if they have what you need (any rigging) as they show up at events with full support, and I like Mauri Pro Sailing for lots of other stuff.  Really good service at both.

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10 hours ago, blunderfull said:

Dog grooming/boarding outfit took over the last great camera store around here.   Another local camera shop now a ‘high-end’ water store.  Weird times for retail.

I "Liked" your post, but that it quite right. I should say that I commiserate with your post. Photography gives way to dog grooming and bottled water. That is progress.

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I felt the same way when Lands End got out of the business.    When I was real little, I enjoyed looking through the catalogs and dreaming.   Then all the fun hardware went away and clothes did not create the same excitement for 

They are probably trying to follow Lands End's path.

- Stumbling

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Not really a need to kick a dead horse, but I called the CSR I have been using for the better part of the last decade was apparently let go. It is sad to see a store that had knowledgeable employees who were actual sailors with the ability to speak in great depths about hardware, foul weather gear and safety gear kicked to the curb. It clearly is an attempt to cut costs so they can hire minimum wage workers who can take an order only.

At this point, there really isn't a need to even call in and place an order.  What clothing will be for sale, you will be able to find more information about that item online, then even calling into the store. What people will be left by the end of the "restructure" probably won't be able to tell you the differences between Spinlock Deckvests. I wouldn't trust their opinion on something that could cost me my life. 

While it certainly is the prerogative of the owner, and every decision his alone, we will have to see how this plays out long term.  I don't really see where APS provides a benefit greater than that of any other company selling the same products. The benefit they had, was just kicked to the curb.  

 

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On 9/4/2019 at 10:19 AM, TrailingEdge said:

Not really a need to kick a dead horse, but I called the CSR I have been using for the better part of the last decade was apparently let go. It is sad to see a store that had knowledgeable employees who were actual sailors with the ability to speak in great depths about hardware, foul weather gear and safety gear kicked to the curb. It clearly is an attempt to cut costs so they can hire minimum wage workers who can take an order only.

At this point, there really isn't a need to even call in and place an order.  What clothing will be for sale, you will be able to find more information about that item online, then even calling into the store. What people will be left by the end of the "restructure" probably won't be able to tell you the differences between Spinlock Deckvests. I wouldn't trust their opinion on something that could cost me my life. 

While it certainly is the prerogative of the owner, and every decision his alone, we will have to see how this plays out long term.  I don't really see where APS provides a benefit greater than that of any other company selling the same products. The benefit they had, was just kicked to the curb.  

 

My point exactly - they are moving into a space where they offer no advantage.

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On 8/9/2019 at 3:55 PM, Mizzmo said:

The other day I ordered a part from Amazon that I would normally have gotten from APS, they were the same price, but free 2 day shipping and the ease of checkout made me choose Amazon. At the time I wondered if decisions like that would kill APS and the like, looks like it did. Amazon is doing to specialist internet retailers what Walmart did to mom and pop shops.

Why would anyone buy anything from Amazon. (Or Walmart)  You are just kicking your true specialists -in whatever field- in the teeth.  

All to get something maybe 5% cheaper or 1 day faster - then wondering why you can’t get good customer service or advice or that rare widget you need.

Buying is a form of voting.  

Spend your votes as if they mattered.  

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Well sometimes Amazon deserves to win:

My BMW had the worst turn-signal bulb sockets ever made. They were molded in two parts and the parts would eventually come apart. I tried gluing them back together with no lasting success.

BMW DEALER - Well that isn't a separate part, you need the whole front wiring harness for $1650 plus tax :angry:

Amazon - A quick search finds some for about $5 along with reviews stating that they fit and worked great B)

The huge strength of Amazon was *you already were signed up* and didn't have to mess with creating a new account and so on. Just click and buy.

Now they are past "peak Amazon" and headed downhill. A lot of the reviews in certain categories are fake and it is increasingly likely you are not buying from Amazon but some random vendor on their site who may or may not still exist if you need to return the item or get warranty support. Some of the fake reviews are good ones believe it or not. You would think vendors would slag each other's products, but what they found more effective was to leave fake good reviews and then complain the other guy was reviewing his own stuff and get them kicked off.

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Not to mention as we thread drift into Amazon, it's created this culture of instant gratification. Most are accustomed to checking out and receiving the product however sometimes a product which is listed by a 3rd party and drop shipped by a vendor might actually be sold once or twice a year because its an oddball item however whomever listed it on Amazon failed to indicate that and the vendor didn't have it in stock. I had to order a new part for my washing machine and it was really heavy however it was listed as free shipping and could ship in two days. What it didn't say was that it wasn't in stock and the lead time would be 3 weeks and once the vendor received it from GE it would take 2 days to ship it and once it departed it would take another week. So now I'm on week 4 of waiting for a balance ring and dealing with a washing machine which vibrates so much my neighbor smokes a cigarette after.  

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The majority of Amazon sales are third party. If you want small business to succeed you should be the biggest Amazon fan out. They are the only chance small independent businesses have to succeed in a global market. Otherwise Walmart and Coca Cola are going to be your global corporate overlords 

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25 minutes ago, doghouse said:

The majority of Amazon sales are third party. If you want small business to succeed you should be the biggest Amazon fan out. They are the only chance small independent businesses have to succeed in a global market. Otherwise Walmart and Coca Cola are going to be your global corporate overlords 

While we have looked at the Amazon model to increase our company's sales, we continue to enjoy 20% year over year increases without wading into those waters. We may at some point get onboard the Amazon train but for now personal referrals are working nicely to keep us on record pace for yet another year.  Many thanks to all of you who have tried us for the first time and to all of those who have continued to trust us with your orders year after year.

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On 8/12/2019 at 5:37 AM, RATM said:

Spent some some time on a Farr 30 that had spin sheets and guys from APS. In a word......perfect. Sheets and guys spliced to one shackle with the hockey puck on the guy. Stripped covers on the sheets. Perfect splices. Perfect lengths. Starbucks would approve.

I hope this void gets filled.

APS was a go to place for getting rigging done right.  I can find line from any number of websites, but to have it properly stripped and spliced?  This is a service that Amazon can't replace.   Called West Cost last week to try to order new spin sheets, and was told they don't do it.   I can strip and splice, but that takes time I don't always have.

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7 minutes ago, DFed said:

APS was a go to place for getting rigging done right.  I can find line from any number of websites, but to have it properly stripped and spliced?  This is a service that Amazon can't replace.   Called West Cost last week to try to order new spin sheets, and was told they don't do it.   I can strip and splice, but that takes time I don't always have.

talk to Ed at  sail22

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That's really a shame about APS.  I just discovered them a couple months ago when I bought a couple of their trap rings.  They had the best price I could find, great customer service, and fast shipping.  When I checked their site a moment ago, a search for cleats went nowhere.  I guess it's all over now. :(

Too bad.  

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I just had a couple of halyards made up at Defender.  They spliced the shackles in and I got it in a few days.  They even advised me that I had to add some footage to the final order to cover the bury on the eye splice

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I have one of their old gray baseball caps with skulls and orange APS embroidery.  Great hat.  They don't make 'em anymore - I asked.

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I never bought clothing (well, maybe gloves if those count) but they were a go-to for stuff that now they don't appear to want to sell any more. I don't get it. They also had some fun blog posts from time to time - this is from one of my favorites:thistle-cockpit.jpg.913e2bbcd56b52c0b29c0fbb89cb0928.jpg

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