Looks like Maplin is going out of business, which is a real shame as it's one of the very few tech shops on the high street.
Sade, but they expanded into areas that were unlikely to succeed.
There is a possibility that their profitable branches may be purchased, leaving only the unprofitable ones to close
I've been in a Maplin's store twice in the last ten years.
Once for a watch battery and once for a thermal fuse. Total expenditure a couple of pounds. With customers like me, it's no wonder they are struggling to survive.
A great pity but a sign of the times.
One of the few places to sell components, but so few people use components these days.
oresome - I'm the same as you, its only the little bits that I need right now that I go into Maplins for and then it's usually half hours search before I find it. Might be just my local store but the staff don't seem too aware of the stock locations of some of the small parts. Generally most computer parts are considerably more expensive than are available elsewhere so I don't shop there for them. Looks as if I shall have to do a bit more Googling and ebay in future.
With their outrageous prices, I'm not surprised. I needed a new alarm battery a while back, Maplin wanted around £30 for it, while the identical battery was available at Screwfix for a few pounds.
Yes, they did supply a specialist service (in some areas), but at a cost that was simply too high. Everything has a price, and when you step over the threshold, it's the path to oblivion.
The truth is, they lost all focus and went into areas they had no chance of competing in. It's easy to blame management, but in this case, I believe they have a lot to answer for.
Maplins and Toy R Us (also mentioned in the linked article) were used by me a lot about a decade ago.
Toys R Us was the store you wanted to be in as a child, all the toys were overwhelming once you stepped inside. The annual catalogues were great for compiling a birthday list.
For Maplins I purchased many PC parts from them, Power Supplies, CPUs, Motherboards, Hard Drives and more. My first digital camera was from them too and I was a fan as soon as they opened a store locally.
Unfortunately over the years online shopping has made it easy, quick and cheaper to get what you need and brick and mortar stores have suffered as a result.
High streets are also in my opinion not pleasant places to be any more. When I was back in the UK I dreaded going to my local high street. It was overcrowded, terrible to navigate and just not pleasant for anyone who doesn't really like crowds. Retail parks for me are much better.
“If you don’t use it , you’ll lose it” springs to mind. I suspect that many find it easier to use Amazon etc. Like others I have occasionally used Maplin and would regret its demise. Anyone remember Tandy? I deliberately use a great local ironmongers who stocks many bits and pieces not found in B & Q and Screwfix.
These companies are victims of their slow response to changing market conditions. Maplins responded to falling profits by laying off staff, and the result was that people waited an eternity to be helped and served. Customers gave up, and ordered online instead.
Toys R Us has been failing for some time - it rapidly became a dinosaur in terms of its huge warehouse-type stores, with millions of pounds tied up in stockholding and decreasing turnover figures. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy.
The internet has a lot to answer for in terms of its erosion of the shop-based consumer market sector.
I still venture into Toys R Us to buy supplies, clothes and toys for my daughter. While I can get many of the things cheaper online (Amazon offers an extra discount for example if you subscribe to nappies and formula), I like going in and seeing what the toys do before taking them home.
My other half does everything online instead and packages arrive every day as she prefers it.
Stores are tricky because of the huge overheads involved and the cost of renting prime retail space does not come cheaply.
However many stores have alienated their customer base as corporate bring up ways to try and get as much out of anyone that sets foot inside.
I remember working in retail for a computer store that is no more. In a bid to get sales the manager essentially wanted us to jump on a customer as soon as they stepped through the door.
One of the things we were made to do was greet and shake a customer's hand as soon as they came through the door. Many customers hated this and made it known.
We were also told to hover around the areas where customers were. This again annoyed many as they were asked while browsing if they needed help several times.
Then came the push, the push to sell store warranties, the push to sell installations and specific software. They became so aggressive with it that when a member of staff was on the floor and the customer declined a manager would jump in and try to ask again. I witnessed many customers saying they were going to another store down the road and leave after declining several times.
The store shuttered shortly after I left, it sadly didn't surprise me. I keep in touch with many there and thankfully all those I have kept in touch with have landed on their feet.
If Maplins and Toy R Us do go I wish the staff well and that they find new jobs as soon as possible.
Being out of work is one of the worst feelings in this day and age.
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