West Marine, Inc. (Nasdaq: WMAR) today reported that net sales for the 13 weeks ended April 1, 2000 were $95.2 million, up 1.8% from $93.5 million in 1999.

Net loss for the quarter was $2.6 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.8 million or $0.16 per diluted share for the 13 weeks ended April 3, 1999. Total store sales for the quarter were up 2.0% while comparable store sales decreased 1.0% compared to the same period a year ago.

Of the $1.7 million increase in net sales, $1.1 million came from the Company's existing store base, $400,000 came from four new stores opened in the quarter, and $200,000 came from increased non-store business, comprised of the Catalog (including Internet), Port Supply (the Company's wholesale division) and insurance businesses.

SG&A expenses for the quarter, which were up slightly as a percentage of sales, increased primarily due to the rollout of the new water sports and West Advantage customer loyalty programs.

Said John Edmondson, President and CEO of West Marine, "The first quarter, before the boating season begins, is typically our toughest. That said, we are on par with expectations and I am optimistic about the remainder of the year."

"Gross margins are up 80 basis points, primarily as a result of a shift to more profitable products. The e-commerce web site is vastly improved and we are pleased with the water sports rollout -- which was completed in mid April in time for the summer season. We are also experiencing very positive customer response from our 'Raise the Sails' store improvement program and the West Advantage program."

Edmondson continued, "We are seeing better than expected sales trends on the West Coast and Southeast regions, where the boating season has begun. These favorable trends have been partially offset by poor weather conditions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. As the weather has improved in May 2000, these regions are reporting better than expected sales."

He concluded, "We are seeing good results overall from the initiatives we put in place last year to improve inventory management and distribution. Additionally, I am especially pleased with the new financial team we have put in place to help build on the Company's recent progress."

West Marine is the nation's largest specialty retailer of recreational and commercial boating supplies and apparel, and operates under the names West Marine and E&B Marine. The Company sells through 232 specialty retail stores, the Internet, catalogs, and Port Supply. The Company's on-line store, press releases and financial information are also available at www.westmarine.com.

"Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The statements contained in this press release that relate to future plans, events, expectations, objectives, or performance (or assumptions underlying such matters), including statements regarding future comparable store net sales and gross margin, are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include the Company's ability to increase sales at its existing stores and expand through internal growth and acquisitions, competitive pricing pressures, inventory management and shrink issues, the market share erosion faced by the Company's catalog division as the Company and its competitors have opened new stores, the impact of the Internet on the supply chain, weather-related issues, the level of consumer spending on recreational water sports and boating supplies, and other risk factors disclosed from time to time in the Company's SEC filings.


West Marine, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
For the Thirteen Weeks Ended April 1, 2000 and April 3, 1999
(In thousands, except per share amounts)

13 Weeks Ended 13 Weeks Ended
April 1, 2000 April 3, 1999 $ Change % Change
----------------- ----------------- -------- --------
Net sales $ 95,262 100.0% $ 93,572 100.0% $ 1,690 1.8%
Cost of goods
sold, including
buying and
occupancy 72,039 75.6% 71,444 76.4% 595 0.8%
------ ------ ------
Gross profit 23,223 24.4% 22,128 23.6% 1,095 4.9%
Selling,
general and
administrative
expenses 25,946 27.2% 25,125 26.9% 821 3.3%
------ ------ ------
Loss from
operations (2,723) -2.9% (2,997) -3.2% 274 9.1%
Interest expense 1,716 1.8% 1,711 1.8% 5 0.3%
------ ------ ------
Loss before
income taxes (4,439) -4.7% (4,708) -5.0% 269 5.7%
Income tax benefit 1,819 -1.9% 1,930 -2.1% 111 5.8%
------ ------ ------
Net loss $ (2,620) -2.8% $ (2,778) -3.0% $ 158 5.7%
====== ====== ======
Net loss
per common
and common
equivalent
share:
Basic and
Diluted ($ 0.15) ($ 0.16)

Weighted
average
common
and common
equivalent
shares
outstanding:
Basic and
Diluted 17,197 16,996

Stores open
at end of period 230 219


West Marine, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands, except share amounts)

Quarter - Year - End Quarter - End
End End March
March December 1999
2000 2000
------------- ------------- -------------
ASSETS

Current assets:
Cash $ 7,875 $ 3,231 $ 6,769
Accounts receivable 6,944 5,101 7,079
Merchandise inventories 187,175 165,838 179,604
Prepaid expense and other
current assets 12,380 9,029 14,549
Total current assets 214,374 183,199 208,001
-------- -------- --------
Property and equipment, net 68,776 66,036 61,209
Intangibles and
other assets, net 37,462 37,625 41,786
-------- -------- --------
Total assets $320,612 $286,860 $310,996
======== ======== ========


LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 40,624 $ 30,810 $ 42,207
Accrued expenses 13,424 9,828 9,174
Deferred income taxes 3,333 3,333 3,263
Line of credit and current
portion of long-term debt 8,536 8,689 1,657
-------- -------- --------
Total current liabilities 65,917 52,660 56,301

Long-term debt 94,759 71,843 105,395
Deferred items 2,550 2,460 2,155
-------- -------- --------
Total liabilities 163,226 129,963 163,851

Stockholders' equity:
Preferred stock, $.001 par
value: 1,000,000 shares
authorized; no shares
outstanding
Common stock, $.001 par value:
50,000,000 shares authorized;
issued and outstanding:
17,205,536 at April 1, 2000
and 17,190,274 at
January 1, 2000 17 17 17
Additional paid-in-capital 107,122 107,015 105,752
Retained earnings 50,247 52,865 41,376
-------- -------- --------
Total stockholders' equity 157,386 159,897 147,145
-------- -------- --------
Total liabilities and
stockholders' equity $320,612 $286,860 $310,996