Maplin Electronics in administration

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
crj
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
tricky
Posts: 2856
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:25 am
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2143
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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
Posts: 1152
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
IanS
Posts: 683
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

Commie_User
Posts: 1152
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
vanpeebles
Posts: 488
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:01 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
danielj
Posts: 6654
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
flibble
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:29 am
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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:

crj
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
flibble
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:29 am
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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

User avatar
danielj
Posts: 6654
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

Commie_User
Posts: 1152
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by 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.

User avatar
danielj
Posts: 6654
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by danielj » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:17 am

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

User avatar
SimonSideburns
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:09 pm
Location: Purbrook, Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by SimonSideburns » Mon May 07, 2018 3:26 pm

I went into my local Maplin and bought some of those cabinets that have the pull-out drawers that hold bits and bobs. They were ones used by the shop to hold components etc. in the back of the store, and I got them for a reasonable price.

I was mainly interested in the cabinets themselves to put a myriad of small items into in my shed, but the added bonus was quite a number of components.

I am not all that adept with electronics etc. so some of what I have is over my head, but I am wondering what to do with the items. I do not, for example, have a need for a number of 440vac 30uF motor starters, and I have to decide if I'm going to:
  • * Spend time and effort trying to sell these items via online auction
    * Use the items to make unusual sculptures and sell those for daft sums of money
    * Learn what these things are used for and see if there's enough items to build anything worthwhile (but seeing as there are no resistors or ICs and quite a bit of miscellaneous stuff, I doubt that's going to be possible).
    * create a list of items and see if anyone else wishes to have any for their own use, or whatever.
I realise one can get a lot of these items from other sources (and maybe at a better price), so I'm not trying to make loads of cash out of this, but I just don't want all this stuff to go to waste and if it helps anyone else out that's a bonus.

Before I spend time creating a list, is anyone interested? Obviously without a list it may be difficult, but let me know your thoughts.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

User avatar
daveejhitchins
Posts: 4462
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:23 pm
Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue May 08, 2018 6:53 am

SimonSideburns wrote:Before I spend time creating a list, is anyone interested? Obviously without a list it may be difficult, but let me know your thoughts.
It would be worth seeing a list - even a photo of a handwritten list would do - or perhaps, just a photo of the parts?

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

Prime
Posts: 2580
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 11:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by Prime » Tue May 08, 2018 2:16 pm

Seriously tempted to get a second Hakko, the local Maplin had one @40% off which makes it reasonable.

Did buy their last 5.25" -> 3.5" floppy bay converter tho......

Cheers.

Phill.

User avatar
Elminster
Posts: 3137
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by Elminster » Sun May 13, 2018 4:43 pm

Think I missed all the good stuff, I picked up a couple of Aurdio projects. Might go back when I have more time, if they haven’t gone by then.

Edit: picked up a cheap signal generator kit, don’t have one and thought it would be interesting to play with, rather than by an expensive one when I don’t really have a defined use for one.

crj
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by crj » Sun May 13, 2018 7:20 pm

I stuck my nose through the door today. They're still being ridiculously optimistic price-wise. A lot of what's left I wouldn't buy at anything less than 80% discount, but it's only been reduced by 50% so far.

Even now, they seem to have their heads in the sand about just how cheaply commodity stuff can be bought from eBay or similar. And it's not as though you can even rely on them to be selling higher quality stuff than you'd get if you take pot luck.

Andy1979
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by Andy1979 » Mon May 14, 2018 8:12 am

Think it now depends what's in your local store. Popped into mine at the weekend and they've now moved all the stock to the front half of the store and started to sell the fixtures and fittings, so don't imagine it'll be open for more than a few weeks. All I picked up was a small d-sub enclosure and a CR1620 backup battery for my Psion. Did get a universal 65W laptop PSU for £9 the other week, which has proven quite useful.

As you say, the mountains of HDMI and USB cables were so overpriced to begin with that 50% off is still higher than Amazon prices. Still a few useful tools and things in the sale (e.g. Amprobe clamp and multimeter kits in a carry case) but nothing I need. Components now just a few 'lucky dip' bags and various connectors. Quite a few cheap reels of cable though.

Imagine someone will buy the name and start a website. I hope whatever rises from the ashes is targeted at the hobbyist rather than consumer electronics.

What I have noticed is that an awful lot of stock of things like batteries and project boxes has ended up on individual eBay accounts.

User avatar
Elminster
Posts: 3137
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by Elminster » Mon May 14, 2018 8:37 am

Pity I missed all the projec boxes and such like, but nearest Maplin is about 30 mins away and been busy.

But here is my new (not manufatured by) maplin signal generator.
Attachments
IMG_3804.jpg

User avatar
pau1ie
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 9:48 pm
Location: Bedford
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by pau1ie » Thu May 17, 2018 5:08 pm

Andy1979 wrote: As you say, the mountains of HDMI and USB cables were so overpriced to begin with that 50% off is still higher than Amazon prices.
Just back from my local store, and they are now 80% off, which brings them more in line with elsewhere.
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

Andy1979
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by Andy1979 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:25 am

pau1ie wrote:
Andy1979 wrote: As you say, the mountains of HDMI and USB cables were so overpriced to begin with that 50% off is still higher than Amazon prices.
Just back from my local store, and they are now 80% off, which brings them more in line with elsewhere.
Indeed. Local store now entering its final week. Not much left, but bargains to be had. Bought a 2-way VGA, PS/2 and audio KVM switch for £3. Many of the cables now actually worth buying if you need any.

Kazzie
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:10 pm
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

Post by Kazzie » Mon May 21, 2018 9:06 am

My local branch (Llandudno) is likewise in its final week of trading. They've had a lot of bulk stock shipped in from their warehouse (including the kind of cables Andy1979 mentions), and they've been selling shop fittings for weeks. They still seem to be holding out high on some things, e.g. 8-pin mini-DIN panel mount sockets (for quadrature mice): £1 each. Not exactly an enticing bargain!
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM (mid- restoration)
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

Post Reply