Maplin goes into administration

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who writes:

While it can be useful for picking up components at short notice, sells kits, and has a small amount of CB / licence free radio equipment, it seems to be a peculiar mixture of computer cables, battery powered children’s cars, overpriced PC parts, chargers, disco lights, tools, and a few electronic project items.

Always nifty to have around, sadly there are often better options online.

Maplin has finally gone into administration. They were roughly equivalent to Radio Shack.

(Source: WIRED)

Farewell, Maplin. One of the last remaining tech stalwarts of the UK high street is going into administration, putting 2,500 jobs at risk across its 200 stores. So how can it be saved, if at all? And is it even worth trying?

There was an inevitability to Maplin’s demise, but there needn’t be. While Blockbuster famously lost out to Netflix and Toys ‘R’ Us (seemingly) to Amazon, Maplin does meet a need that is otherwise neglected. Yet the numbers beg to differ. Maplin had hoped to find a buyer, but talks failed. It is now up to administrators at PwC to sell off what they can. Stores will remain open for now.

Ultimately, it wasn’t the internet that killed Maplin. It was Brexit. Sort of. “The business has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance,” CEO Graham Harris said in a statement.

Online shopping definitely played a part, but it wasn’t the fatal blow. That’s a view shared by administrator PwC, which blames “a slowdown in consumer spending and more expensive imports as the pound has weakened” rather than Maplin’s outmoded business model. But now, if it is to have any chance of surviving, Maplin has to belatedly change.[…]

Click here to view the full article at WIRED.

Thank you for the tip, Mark.  When I lived in the UK I would frequent Maplin for various components and parts but as you suggest, it truly catered to generic consumer electronics. Like RadioShack here in the States, I imagine they will be missed as a convenient local source of some components.

Spread the radio love

2 thoughts on “Maplin goes into administration

  1. K.U.

    I can tell a different story. Here in Helsinki I have two different stores (Bebek Electronic and Uraltone) selling electronic components for customers within short walking distance from my home. I have visited Bebek a few times and noticed it being full of customers queueing for service. Apparenly Bebek is thriving and I guess Uraltone too. Neither of these two stores is a large employer, however. I have never noticed more than one seller present in Bebek when visiting there.

  2. Andy

    Oh for Heaven’s sake, it wasn’t the internet or Brexit that killed Maplin, it was Maplin. High prices, poor service and impenetrable website, they got everything wrong in their latter years. The reason their customers turned to the internet was that Maplin stopped selling what their customers wanted in their stores. They reduced their range of handy components and equipment, replacing it with gadgets and gizmos from China. Flogging flashy, over-priced audio leads and connectors at 5 times the price of RS or Rapid is not going to save you once your customers realise they are being ripped off.


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