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Old 1st Nov 2017, 11:59 pm   #41
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I used to be quite fond of Maplin in the 90s, but they haven't moved with the times, and sell things significantly more expensive than most online stores.

Business is business and they've become stagnant and made bad decisions, so I've little sympathy for them.
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 12:27 pm   #42
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I like Maplin and get around 50% of my components there. Their battery holders are far better quality than I can get online (the springs compress), their small bulbs are some of the best around and the only place that stocks 6.5V 0.3A bulbs with krypton fill for whiter light. They have NiZn batteries on the shelf (I like those) and their plug and socket range meets all my needs. I buy cables from them, along with soldering accessories. Their 100 Watt soldering iron is a steal at the price and one of my most used tools. Iroda soldering tips often cheaper than online. I have a Maplin a 5 minute bike ride away and open on a Sunday for when I need a component or two.
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 3:44 pm   #43
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I would miss Maplin in the same way I still miss Tandy, a local and handy electronics store. Maplin do seem to have gone exactly the way of Tandy, more and more cheap domestic goods and toys rather than real electronics. Tandy, who closed 17 years ago now in the UK sold more and more toys in their later years, mainly remote control ones. These were so unreliable (or too easily broken) that many stores had a “returns desk” open straight after Christmas just to handle returns and refunds.
Maplin now no longer send out the monthly flyer which is a pity but could pick up a tip from Tandy. They used to do good reductions each month on different components, leads etc which then made them worth stocking up on. “Lucky bags” of misc components were also common. It must have helped clear the slower moving lines as well. I still have bagged Tandy stuff from those days!
Even on Saturdays our local Maplin within a retail park is very, very quiet, I can’t believe the store can cover the costs let alone make a profit.
Unless they make radical changes I can’t see them being here for much longer. I fear for most retail outlets, it must be very difficult to compete against on-line selling. Whilst I do buy a lot on-line myself I do miss physical shopping! Must be my age....
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 3:48 pm   #44
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Didn't Tandy reopen albeit as an online shop only?
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 5:30 pm   #45
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Sort of. The brand name was acquired by another company, see

In 2012, Tandy Corporation Ltd, a UK company, acquired the UK rights to the Tandy brand from RadioShack. It now operates as an on-line retailer of electronic components and kits at
Rather like when the Woolworths brand was acquired by Shop Direct and run as an online store for a few years.

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Forum Admin/Owner and BVWS Committee Member
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 6:07 pm   #46
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I would miss Maplins if it went.

It doesn't seem to have as many mainstream "out of a box" electronics as Tandy used to have, unless it's something a bit niche.

The Stockport branch is fairly small & has a lot of stock in the back, but I went to a big one near Hudderfield, which my then girlfriend called "geek heaven"!
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 6:07 pm   #47
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Originally Posted by AC/HL View Post
Named after the proposed airport at Maplin Sands I believe. That was abandoned in 1974, which gives an approximate time line.
Yes, despite which much of their advertising in PW/PE etc through the late-1970s and the first half of the 1980s generally included a drawing of Concorde.

To be honest, I miss Ambit/Cirkit much more than I'll miss Maplin when it eventually goes down the tubes.
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 9:58 pm   #48
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Default Re: Maplin stores

A 2015 catalogue can be downloaded here

Actually far more useful than the awful web site for components.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 9:36 am   #49
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Smile Re: Maplin stores

I miss the kits they used to produce back in the 90's including 555 and 741 op-amp tuition kits. They included a comprehensive guide on how the circuits work as well. They ranged from the very basic

I still have a couple of unopened project kits in my parents loft (voltage to frequency and frequency to voltage converter kits). They made some excellent kits including test equipment (function generator and frequency counter still working) and various audio amplifiers radios ECT. I would spend hours going through the projects in the 2" thick catalogue and just see page after page of really interesting projects.

The Maplin minilab project I made a few months ago is a prime example of what they did well and it is a shame nothing really exists like it any more. There are only around 4-5 assembly projects in my local store (the solder components to a PCB type!!) and those that are available are very basic and I am not interested in Christmas decoration flashing lights or silly plant monitor things!!.

Their range of components used to be excellent as well (transformers, semiconductors enclosures and capacitors spring to mind)

Christopher Capener
A proper radio is one that needs to be moved with a wheelbarrow !!
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 10:13 am   #50
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Default Re: Maplin stores

The catalogues were excellent. Very skillfully written by someone who actually understood the items on offer, in a way that could be understood by an enthusiast with no formal training, and with a wealth of clearly-presented data as well as handy tips. CPC and the other big boys of today could learn a thing or two.

Has MPS been mentioned yet?
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Old Today, 7:38 pm   #51
Dai Corner
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Sky News have tweeted that Maplin are looking for a buyer in other to avoid administration
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Old Today, 7:43 pm   #52
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Yes, seems they're looking for a pre-pack administration (to relieve them of debt overhang) which would at least allow them to continue trading.
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