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Thread: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

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    Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Electronics, gadgets and components shop employs 2,500 people in 200 stores nationwide.
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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Another store front that couldn't keep up with the internet.

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    Senior Member Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    They took away a lot of their electronics parts business and bought in run of the mill boxed electrical goods, and at silly prices as well.
    Jon

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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    'Same as regular electronics, except ours cost thrice as much'

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    Comrade Moose CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    They took away a lot of their electronics parts business and bought in run of the mill boxed electrical goods, and at silly prices as well.
    Yep,I remember Maplins more as a electrical parts business more like Tandy instead of a PC World competitor!


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    Senior Member Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Yes it very much was, they had an extensive catalogue of parts which diminished over the years. My first PC was a Tandy 1000TX. Good old days, 8Mhz processor
    Jon

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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Used to work at Maplin and still have friends that do in varying levels of management and it's become a complete clusterfornicate.

    Basically they've taken a "pre-built" stance and are just bringing in part code shifters rather than the granularity Maplin was known for.

    Additionally, and in my opinion the worst change, they took a "everything must be positive" stance in sales. What this meant was an employee was not allowed to talk negatively about the product. If there is an issue or a flaw that leads to the product not being suitable for the customer then it must be spun positively and directed elsewhere. If you are found either speaking negatively or highlighting flaws by secret shopper or management, you will have to undergo mandatory re-training to improve your attitude/outlook.

    Frankly, Maplin Upper Management have taken away what made Maplin unique and in essence, kept them afloat. And instead tried to cookie cutter the company to be like PC World and the public don't need another PC World, the public needs something like Maplin to fall back on.

    Coupled with the terrible product sourcing team who can't get good pricing so therefore the sales teams can't work with competitive pricing and leading to ridiculous over pricing. If any person goes into Maplin to buy a any PC Hardware without checking pricing online first deserves to get ripped off.

    A lot of people complain about the electrical component pricing and I worked regularly in that department and my response would always be, "You've come into Maplin because you need that component right away, if you had time to wait, you would have ordered online. So £1.35 for this Capacitor is pretty reasonable for you to walk out the door with it right this second, card machine is ready for you". As you can tell, I got fed up with that attitude PDQ.

    I will be sad to see Maplin go if it does, but then again the Maplin I worked at ~5 years ago is not the Maplin I see today.

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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    dh-4600synth-s by David W. Harris, on Flickr

    I built this entirely from Maplin parts, late 70s. I miss those old analogue days.

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    Frankly, Maplin Upper Management have taken away what made Maplin unique and in essence, kept them afloat. And instead tried to cookie cutter the company to be like PC World and the public don't need another PC World, the public needs something like Maplin to fall back on.
    This is a good point, even if they had stayed as the kind of specialist part supplier they would not have been able to survive.

    They made decisions which obviously resulted in a business that wouldn't be long for the world, but it was probably longer than if they'd tried to stay like Tandy.
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    This is a good point, even if they had stayed as the kind of specialist part supplier they would not have been able to survive.

    They made decisions which obviously resulted in a business that wouldn't be long for the world, but it was probably longer than if they'd tried to stay like Tandy.
    RS Components seems to be perfectly fine though.


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    Sad to see them go - I rember when they started up as a mail order electronics components retailer, competing with the likes of Henrys Radio and Electrovalue and a whole myriad of small component resellers that advertised in Practical Electronics, Practical Wireless, Wireless World and similar magazines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    "You've come into Maplin because you need that component right away, if you had time to wait, you would have ordered online.
    Very true. I was in Maplin a couple of weeks ago looking for an HDMI-DVI converter. They had it at an inflated price, but I needed it then. And while the price might have been high, they have staff, rent and large overheads to pay for (my purchase was in Central London (Holborn) - not an area noted for cheap rent!). Even if they are bailed out, the business will have to adapt, so I can see shops closing.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    RS Components seems to be perfectly fine though.
    RS is primarily a B2B operation though - not retail focussed. CPC (the retail division of Farnell) is probably the place to go for components if you don't have an RS account.
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    RS is primarily a B2B operation though - not retail focussed. CPC (the retail division of Farnell) is probably the place to go for components if you don't have an RS account.
    Thats the point - if Maplin has stuck to their roots and moved more towards expanding their business that way,they probably would have been fine. Also,RS have been selling parts to consumers for yonks,especially as a family member used to be quite into building amps and speakers,and I can still remember all the RS branded parts lying around their workshop when I was a kid.

    Instead they moved the other way and tried to do the same thing as Currys,PC World,Dixons,etc which was already too crowded and only one of the three remained.

    Its the same with camera stores - some companies like Jessops,Jacobs and Tecno went south,but there are some chains which have survived perfectly fine. The camera chains which survived,had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve,and embraced things like customer service and having well trained staff,etc and made sure they didn't over invest in huge stores in expensive locations hence maximising profitablity.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 26-02-2018 at 05:53 PM.


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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Thats the point - if Maplin has stuck to their roots and moved more towards expanding their business that way,they probably would have been fine. Also,RS have been selling parts to consumers for yonks.

    Instead they moved the other way and tried to do the same thing as Currys,PC World,Dixons,etc which was already too crowded and only one of the three remained.

    Its the same with camera stores - some companies like Jessops,Jacobs and Tecno went south,but there are some chains which have survived perfectly fine.
    Maplin would have been hard pushed to compete with RS. RS is a multinational business with a huge range of specialist products and I doubt that Maplin could have seen a worthwhile investment on the capital needed to compete at that level.

    IIRC RS only sell to consumers via mail order - you need an account to use the trade counters. Their trade counters do have a large stock range though!
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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    It's sad to hear, but with their pricing I'm surprised that it has even lasted this long.

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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Maplin would have been hard pushed to compete with RS. RS is a multinational business with a huge range of specialist products and I doubt that Maplin could have seen a worthwhile investment on the capital needed to compete at that level.

    RS only sell to consumers via mail order - you need an account to use the trade counters. Their trade counters do have a large stock range though!
    They could have years ago,but in the end they went the wrong way and over expanded trying to compete with PC World,Currys,Comet,Dixons,etc.

    Maplins didn't use to have nearly as many locations and most of the shops were small,and they did a lot of business via mail order too. If they stayed small and doubled down on the business and found chances to grow,then smaller businesses can actually have flexibilities that larger ones do lack. Plenty of countries have multiple retailers who do the stuff RS do.

    People seem to forget plenty of bricks and mortar and mail order companies have succeeded due to good leadership and a unified vision. A prime example is Richer Sounds which started at one location in London Bridge in the late 70s which is still there today. So one tiny shop,against massive established competitors.

    They concentrated on small shops,and maximising profitability per m2,and being competitively priced. Its actually what the founder did from the very beginning and some of their stores had the highest sales per square foot in the world of any retail outlet. Lots of well known companies were competing with them yet ultimately they out performed all their direct competitors.

    They then invested in dropping the costs even more by their founder purchasing a controlling share in Audio Partnership(think of the company who owns Cambridge Audio,etc) so they could cut out the middleman,and they invested early in home automation products like Opus. So they basically followed the market closely and reacted at the right times.

    Basically they went from a bargain basement shop in one location,to owning multiple international well known brands and getting into home automation earlier. So that means they not only sell hifi stuff,but market and essentially design and make a lot of the products they sell,and many of those brands they own are sold worldwide. Remember,hifi is actually a relatively poor market in the UK compared to the US,and yet look at how well the company has done:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business...st-rated-shops

    The hi-fi and TV specialist was founded by influential business guru Julian Richer, who has promised to hand his business to his employees through a trust model similar to that of John Lewis when he dies. It has 53 stores and made an operating profit of £9m on sales of £186m last year. It donates 15% of its profits to charity while shopfloor staff enjoy John Lewis-style perks such as subsidised holiday homes in the UK and European cities Paris and Venice.
    Remember,plenty of competitors selling similar products too and its far worse now!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 26-02-2018 at 06:38 PM.


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    Re: Maplin has just 48 hours left to avoid administration

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Even if they are bailed out, the business will have to adapt, so I can see shops closing.
    They'll probably need to do a major overhaul of their website then, it was pretty awful the last time I used it to see if something was in stock locally that I needed. They've got quite a few issues, alongside having to maintain "bricks and mortar" shops, pricing, availability among other things spring to mind. Generally the more successful high street retailers have a stronger presence online, Maplin lets itself down on that front quite badly imo.

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