In November 1996 Budget Marine Trinidad opened for business in an historic building that originally housed 2nd World War American military equipment. Robbie Ferron, Founder of Budget Marine, says: “The first goals for the company were small, but growth was fast and over the years in these premises there were almost always changes to the interior or expansions being executed. At a certain point however, it was necessary to opt for a new structure.”
Budget Marine Trinidad Director, John Skinner continues: “So in 2002, with the same confidence that we entered into a joint venture with the Budget Marine Group in 1996 for a yacht chandlery in Trinidad, the Skinner family moved ahead with the design and construction of a greatly expanded, purpose-built facility. Ideally located in Chaguaramas in the heart of the yachting industry, this new store further enhanced Trinidad as a major service orientated yachting destination of which we are proud.”
In the new 2-storey building, with its 4800 square footsales floor, large warehouse and generous office space, the product range was expanded and service raised to a new level. Improvements have included the installation of a dinghy dock for easy access from the water, linking up with local contractors to ensure aftersales technical support, construction of a mezzanine floor to better utilise retail space, setting up a state of the art Awlmix Mixing Bank and having an experienced travelling product manager reach out to customers beyond Chaguaramas. Earlier this year Budget Marine opened a satellite store at the Trinidad & Tobago Yacht Club to provide convenient access for members and a way for customers to avoid the Western Main Road traffic congestion.
Despite challenges such as the downturn in world economy, which reduced the visiting boats that were the basis for the company’s initial growth, by diversifying and focusing attention on the needs of local boat owners, commercial marine companies and organisations, Budget Marine Trinidad has maintained its hard-earned position as a mover and shaker in the Chaguaramas business community and second busiest store in the Budget Marine Group.
Long term relationships with loyal customers over the past 20 years have been key to the store’s success and management sincerely thanks these individuals and companies. Donald Stollmeyer, Director of Power Boats, one of Trinidad’s largest boat yards says: “It is always a pleasure to visit the Budget Marine store. The staff is welcoming and knowledgeable and the range of marine items offered is unequalled. Our boat yard will continue to depend heavily on Budget Marine to supply our customers with their chandlery needs. We look forward to another 20 years of excellence!”
The core group of young staff members that started in the old rented premises have developed into the current management backbone of Budget Marine Trinidad, as well a Group Service management team based at the Trinidad facility who support 13 Budget Marine locations Caribbean-wide in terms of accounting, business procedures and IT. Store Manager Risa Hall Lequay says: “I feel privileged to have been part of this organization for the past 17 years. It has been quite a learning experience, but rewarding to see Budget Marine maintain its position as the main ship chandlery in Trinidad and Tobago, with its distinctive regional brand.”
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, between Monday 14 and Friday 18 November 2016 there will be a lot happening in the Chaguaramas store each day - lucky draws for gift certificates and hampers, promotional give-aways, product lucky dips and substantial discounts. For full details of the week’s programme contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 1-868-634-2006.