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Jonboy

Maplin administration

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The news today is a big shame, I always enjoyed a good wonder round their stores, I do however wonder what more they could have done to remain competitive and relevant to the modern market ?

 

I always plan tasks and purchase materials ahead of time and can only think of one occasion in the last decade where I made a last minute dash to get some solder for use on the day.

 

I do also feel for the staff, having watched various family members go through redundancy processes I wouldn’t wish the stress and uncertainty on anybody.

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I agree, that is a sad loss but I have wondered for some time how they could be viable. Frequently I was the only customer in the shop and outnumbered by staff 4 or 5:1, I would imagine they would have low average sales revenue per customer too.

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To some extent they are another victim of the modern technology as many of us turn to online sales, we sit at home watching tv nice and warm and plan our next project then look up the pieces we need on line and order them. Only a few of us bother to go into the stores for a look around, and sometimes buy the extras.

Another issue these days is the fact that modern technology is much more reliable and fewer people need repairs and parts.

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Toys 'R' Us, and Maplins with the loss of 6,000 jobs, between them.  I guess my source of reasonably priced Soldering Iron Stations will go as well. 

 

Modern market forces aside, when someone like Carrilion cannot sustain trading, paying huge bonuses to 'Senior Management' but leaving huge deficits in the Pension Funds you have to think the system is severely broken.

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Bear in mind that the Maplin stores remain open for now, though it's not known how long this situation will continue.

 

If there's anything you think you might need, that you can't obtain easily elsewhere, now is a good time to do something about it.

 

John  

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I’m not at all surprised the this company has gone bust. For a long time the local branch insisted that if a customer paid by card and then found that the item was faulty the customer refund was the cost less the card fees. An Amazon customer doesn’t have this issue.

Customer care was not a priority for Maplin

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Fortunately I still have City Radio in Ealing to get those bits and pieces that I always seem to need at the last minute. but If it does close down I'll miss Maplin. You can't go on the internet waving around say an obscure plug and asking if they've four more of them.

 

Amazon etc. is all well and good when you know exactly what you need but I've often found that browsing the shelves of Maplin or even B&Q reveals the very thing that I need but wouldn't have spotted without actually seeing it. The other thing you don't get in a physical store is having to register and come up with a new password just to get one or two items from a shop you'll probably never need to buy anything else from. 

Edited by Pacific231G
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Toys 'R' Us, and Maplins with the loss of 6,000 jobs, between them.  I guess my source of reasonably priced Soldering Iron Stations will go as well. 

 

Modern market forces aside, when someone like Carrilion cannot sustain trading, paying huge bonuses to 'Senior Management' but leaving huge deficits in the Pension Funds you have to think the system is severely broken.

It doesn't matter what rules are in place, if they aren't enforced, they are meaningless. 

 

I'm not suggesting that this has occurred in the case of either business in the news today but one thing was clear since before BHS, let alone Carillion. 

 

Self-regulation equals no regulation, and the miscreants who extract personal fortunes from, and bring about the collapse of, such companies have clever enough lawyers to ensure the legal consequences never exceed paying back some of the diverted cash.

 

It really needs to be possible to levy fines large enough to bankrupt the guilty and take them out of the commercial gene pool for good.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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Another issue these days is the fact that modern technology is much more reliable and fewer people need repairs and parts.

 

It's more that modern technology is cheaper, cheap enough to become throw-away.

 

 

Toys 'R' Us, and Maplins with the loss of 6,000 jobs, between them.  I guess my source of reasonably priced Soldering Iron Stations will go as well. 

 

Modern market forces aside, when someone like Carrilion cannot sustain trading, paying huge bonuses to 'Senior Management' but leaving huge deficits in the Pension Funds you have to think the system is severely broken.

 

Carrillion failed for different reasons though. They over-stretched themselves and took on risky business. Maplins' demise was more a product of the internet retail revolution. Toys'R'Us did as much to destroy themselves as anyone else.

Edited by truffy

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I guess my source of reasonably priced Soldering Iron Stations will go as well. 

How often do you buy them?

Regards

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How often do you buy them?

Regards

Interestingly I gave up trying to get tips for my maplin branded soldering station after all local branches ( and their website) were sold out for over 6 months.

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Another issue these days is the fact that modern technology is much more reliable and fewer people need repairs and parts.

 

 

It's more that modern technology is cheaper, cheap enough to become throw-away.

 

 

Both are true to the degree that extended warranties are something I don't even consider these days; not that I did very often before.

 

I've not had anything pack up on me that I haven't considered to have delivered my moneys-worth, and which hasn't lasted long enough to become properly obsolete, for many years. :jester:

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling

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Type "soldering iron" as a search string into Ebay, and you will find at least the first 5 pages of results are all from Asia.  

 

I think it was only a matter of time before stores such as Maplins found the cheap competition to be too much. 

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Maplins, I mourn.

Not so much Toys R Us, although their staff I do feel for.

 

Before Toys R Us came to my town we had three decent toyshops, four if you count a tobacconist/newsagents that also sold toys in a suburb, and a decent model shop.

 

Once Toys R Us is gone, we'll have nothing. Where do kiddies go to LOOK at toys now? My kids loved being taken to a big toy shop to spend their Christmas money.

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The irony of Maplin losing out to on line sales is that its origins were as a mail order company. The rise of Rapid has no doubt taken a lot of trade it use to have while RS now openly taking orders means items can be sourced from reputable sources. My recent purchasers at Maplin have been limited to the odd resistor or diode where they did work cheaper due not to having to buy in bulk and/or pay postage for a large number that I simply didnot want. The one more expensive product I have purchased when suitably reduced is their remote control sockets - the handset can work up to 16 which makes them great for hiding tower sockets yet still being able to switch off applicance. Not only did they not cope with on-line sales they also did not seem able to comptete against other stores selling some of their products such as extension leads.

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I hope someone can keep them going as sometimes it was useful to go into a store to look at an item, rather than relying on an on-line picture or description.

 

Must say, however, last time I went into my nearest store about a week ago it took me an age to get served.

The item I wanted, and I knew was in stock, was not on the shelves but in the component section.

When the 'salesman' finally got round to dealing with my request he told me 'we don't sell those'. 

'Yes you do' I said! 

 

We got there in the end.  :scratchhead:

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There is an interesting article in the Guardian online, the gist of which is - for Toys R Us - that they have failed to move with the times. It is no longer a positive shopping experience.

 

My guess for Maplin is that it is cheap competition. I have noticed quite a few references to 'cheap stuff from China' on RMWeb, in a variety of contexts. Then there are the UK intermediaries, that make it seem that you are buying from a UK business. It is amazing that Maplin's has lasted as long as it has.

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I remember the store in Hammersmith - it had a few components in the shop window - there was just a blank screen and there inside was just one gentleman behind a counter. You gave your order and he would disappear in the back to the stockroom - a bit like Argos.

 

Fortunately in London we still have owner/proprietors like Cricklewood Electronics still going.

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.... in London we still have owner/proprietors like Cricklewood Electronics still going.

 

...though, like model railway shops, for how much longer is anyone's guess.

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Whilst everyone else is hoarding bread and milk due to the snow I'll be stocking up on LEDs and other useful components.

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Whilst everyone else is hoarding bread and milk due to the snow I'll be stocking up on LEDs and other useful components.

Mmmmm microchips....

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I have over the years used the local Maplins stores around the North West areas and to be honest have always been happy with the service plus being an old fashioned type of guy I could inspect my purchase before parting with my pennies. However over the past couple of years the stock levels in the shops has been reduced and this has meant that if I wanted six switches for example there would only be four which did annoy me a bit, what never made any business sense to me was when one pointed out that you did require six their were more than happy to post the out standing number post free.....

 

With the JLTRT announcement earlier this month it's not been a good month for us modellers.. 

Perhaps it's a chance for Squires to get their web site up and running again ....maybe we should all mention this to Roger next time we see him at a show ???

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However over the past couple of years the stock levels in the shops has been reduced and this has meant that if I wanted six switches for example there would only be four which did annoy me a bit, what never made any business sense to me was when one pointed out that you did require six their were more than happy to post the out standing number post free.....

 

Hit the nail on the head there gismorail, the expense of having 6 switches sat on the shelf in 100 odd shops (600 switches worth of cost tied up) apposed to, say 100 switches in a low overhead, central warehouse on 'call off' from on line customers. Maplin simply can not compete unfortunately. It will be a sad loss to many modellers if it does go under, me included. 

 

Guy

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