Maplin Electronics in administration

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
crj
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby crj » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:30 am

Wait... they're discounting by 50% and not telling shoppers?

I'm beginning to run out of sympathy for Maplin; really I am.

RobC
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby RobC » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:12 pm

I went into the Cardiff store today and the signs weren't great there either.

As there were no discount signs in the component area, I assumed that they were all still full price but fortunately overheard someone saying that everything on the rack was 50% off. I bought a few large project boxes and some bits and pieces.

However, the store was busier than I've seen it in the last five years with about a dozen other customers while I was in there. There was even a small crowd around the ride on cars!

Andy1979
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby Andy1979 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:03 am

Popped into my local store again this weekend. Didn't look like they'd shifted that much stock to be honest.

Picked up a big sheet of veroboard at 50% off and a 'lucky dip' bag of LED/LCD displays for just £2.50 - mostly 7 segment figure-8 LED displays, but also included a very nice 4x20 dot matrix LCD in red, which is just what I need for an Arduino project (pinout is standard HD44780 - it worked as a drop-in replacement for the 2x16 LCD in my Arduino kit). There's a tiny little 16x96 pixel OLED display in the bag too, which looks intriguing.

Most of the components aren't on display, so I plan to do a click-and-collect for next weekend for project boxes and such.

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tricky
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby tricky » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:50 am

I'd like to see a games workshop maplin. Not expensive plastic and paint, but somewhere I could take my beeb and do a bit of soldering with like minded people :) maybe they could 3D print me an ashtray cover for my beeb while I solder.
On the subject of small shops, we have a model railway shop and butchers shop in the large village where I work, and although, the pet shop just closed, a wool shop is just opening (the misses was quite annoyed for some reason that they are selling expensive apecialiy wools, rather than what you can get realativly cheaply on eBay).

Andy1979
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby Andy1979 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:31 am

tricky wrote:I'd like to see a games workshop maplin. Not expensive plastic and paint, but somewhere I could take my beeb and do a bit of soldering with like minded people :) maybe they could 3D print me an ashtray cover for my beeb while I solder.
On the subject of small shops, we have a model railway shop and butchers shop in the large village where I work, and although, the pet shop just closed, a wool shop is just opening (the misses was quite annoyed for some reason that they are selling expensive apecialiy wools, rather than what you can get realativly cheaply on eBay).


That's a great idea. One of my friends is involved in something called the "Restart Project" where people take broken household objects and electrical appliances, and engineers like him give up their time to help them fix them. Can see that a commercial version might work, but obviously not on the scale that Maplin had grown to.

There's an obvious conflict of interest if they can sell you a new gadget, but many things will be beyond repair.

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BigEd
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby BigEd » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:58 am

Your 'restart project' reminds me of the local 'remakery' where there are some tools and skilled people on hand to help you mend your broken things - furniture, clothes, household appliances.

Commie_User
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby Commie_User » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:37 pm

With all the repair shops that have closed down, there's an opening need for folks like us with retro products. I really really hope that in five years, a quick Google can throw up fixit guys in most areas to make money in their garden sheds. Like the old days.

(Incidentally, I think I've answered the question of the boundary point between recently and retro: the retro stuff stopped coming out roughly a decade before the shops that could fix them closed down. Too few people need a guy to mend a tape deck or Laserdisc player now because that great variety and expensive production has dried up.)

crj
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby crj » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:59 pm

One thing I'm wondering is whether techniques for repair are keeping pace with the repairability challenges new technology presents.

I mean, Apple's infamous for gluing everything together, but even aside from that it seems that replacing a BGA now is trickier than replacing a DIL was in 1980.

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IanS
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby IanS » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:04 pm

tricky wrote:I'd like to see a games workshop maplin. Not expensive plastic and paint, but somewhere I could take my beeb and do a bit of soldering with like minded people :) maybe they could 3D print me an ashtray cover for my beeb while I solder.

Sounds to me like you just described a hackspace.

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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby Commie_User » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:14 pm

crj wrote:One thing I'm wondering is whether techniques for repair are keeping pace with the repairability challenges new technology presents.


But will it be worth it to fix Apple's new junk?

Look at it this way: What's a BBC or Amiga any good for these days? Unique stuff....

What will some cookie-cutter Iphone from last year be good for in 2030? No use even for its own operating system when the timer hits zero.

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vanpeebles
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby vanpeebles » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:25 am

I agree! I had an old ibook G4, that recently I dug out to remove the SSD IDE drive to use in something else, already the plastics had degraded, and were brittle/broken in places. They are rubbish inside, not to mention the use of glue arl ower.

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danielj
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby danielj » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:03 pm

Just wandered in over lunchtime - even with the discounts there wasn't anything that was good value :(

d.

crj
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby crj » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:14 pm

I dropped by the Cambridge Beehive Centre branch again today. Discounts not noticeably steeper than last time. 50% on components; 20-30% on tools, 10% on stuff like Philips Hue light bulbs. Still nothing cheaper than one can buy elsewhere online, certainly nothing cheap enough to impulse-purchase in case it ever comes in useful!

There were some other customers in there today. We got chatting, and were all agreeing the discounts will have to get a lot steeper before they can clear their shelves.

Meanwhile, they're now on reduced opening hours due to staff shortage. In Silicon Fen, I guess that means a significant proportion of their staff upped and left for other jobs rather than waiting until the bitter end.

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flibble
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby flibble » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:43 pm

The 10-30% off seems to bring prices inline with other retailers, but that's not enough of discount to sway some people to buy products with no warranty (effectively).

Prices will drop over time, at the moment their trying their best to recover as much money as possible and trying to build some 'hype' to get the bargain hunters in the stores. You may see some stores closing and moving their stock to a reduced number of stores (to reduce staffing costs) as things go on.

I've been in a couple of Maplin and picked up some things that I had on my 'ought to get at some point' list. Some items are selling, electronic kits, raspberry pi and arduino accessories, and the shelves are starting to get a bit barer. Some things like cables and adapters won't shift until it's at least 90% off :lol:

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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby crj » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:27 pm

flibble wrote:The 10-30% off seems to bring prices inline with other retailers


Other bricks and mortar retailers, perhaps.

Prices will drop over time, at the moment their trying their best to recover as much money as possible and trying to build some 'hype' to get the bargain hunters in the stores.


I fear they've started too high and, far from generating hype, people are going to lose interest. I only went there myself because I'd just purchased an extremely tasty lunchtime cheese scone from the adjacent M&S. (-8

More than anything else, this is cementing my impression that one of the reasons Maplin failed is that the management had absolutely no idea what prices the market would bear.

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flibble
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby flibble » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:37 pm

Oddly enough Maplin is (or was) profitable, they were turning over enough money to cover the expenses *except* the interest on their debt.

I think it's more that Maplin ended up not being for 'Us' [1] :)

[1] There's a lot more tech-unsavvy people needing tech than tech-savvy

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danielj
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby danielj » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:42 pm

Yes, but even that plasma ball I don't need is more expensive than it was at xmas :(

d.

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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby Commie_User » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:14 pm

crj wrote:More than anything else, this is cementing my impression that one of the reasons Maplin failed is that the management had absolutely no idea what prices the market would bear.


That's been a pretty accurate observation for years. When I was there from just after Y2K, I was startled to see things like those tiny VGA couplers being knocked out for a fiver. Or only slightly snazzy computer mice being sold for £30. And that from a shop by now miles off being comprehensive on any product line. And that's quite aside from the outright trash we were starting to sell even then.

There were many solid buys anyway, especially in the computer card and assembly line but the crappy little light balls and things were better just on display rather than someone wasting their money.

crj
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby crj » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:17 pm

flibble wrote:There's a lot more tech-unsavvy people needing tech than tech-savvy

Yes, but they're in PC World. Or even Tesco. The ones whose money you'd really like are at John Lewis...

At least around Cambridge, I don't think Maplin ever managed to court more mainstream customers away from their competitors.

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danielj
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Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Postby danielj » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:17 am

The John Lewis sales staff generally have a clue...