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Maplin collapses into administration on black day for high street

PUBLISHED: 11:03 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:47 28 February 2018

A Maplin store. Picture: DOUG FAULKNER

A Maplin store. Picture: DOUG FAULKNER

Archant

Electronics company Maplin has become the second retailer on the same day to collapse into administration, putting another 2,500 jobs at risk.

The group, owned by private equity firm Rutland Partners, called in PwC on Wednesday after attempts to rescue the chain failed.

It comes after Toys R Us also fell into administration, affecting 3,200 staff.

Maplin has 217 stores in the UK, including at Ipswich, Lowestoft and Chelmsford, and PwC is still attempting to find a buyer for the group.

Graham Harris, the company’s chief executive, said: “I can confirm this morning that it has not been possible to secure a solvent sale of the business and as a result we now have no alternative but to enter into an administration process.

“During this process Maplin will continue to trade and remains open for business.”

He added that the retailer has been struggling to mitigate the impact of the pound’s devaluation post the Brexit vote, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance.

“This necessitated an intensive search for new capital that in current market conditions has proved impossible to raise.

“These macro factors have been the principal challenge, not the Maplin brand or its market differentiation,” Mr Harris added.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, run by retail billionaire Philip Day, had been touted as a potential rescuer for Maplin.

But talks are thought to have broken down, leaving Rutland no alternative but to call in administrators.

High street chains across the board have been hit hard by falling consumer spending, soaring inflation and competition from online rivals.

“We believe passionately that Maplin has a place on the high street, and that our trust, credibility and expertise meets a customer need that is not supported elsewhere,” the chief executive insisted.

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