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Where To Get Sets and Parts For discussions about swapmeets, rallies, NVCF and BVWS, car boot sales, antique and charity shops, dealers, newspaper adverts, the local tip and just about any other source of equipment (other than eBay).

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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 12:59 am   #41
Damo666
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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, 1:27 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, 4:44 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....
Peter
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 4:48 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, 6:30 pm   #45
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Sort of. The brand name was acquired by another company, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandy_...n#Tandy_stores

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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 tandyonline.co.uk
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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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 7:07 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, 7:07 pm   #47
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Default Re: Maplin stores

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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, 10:58 pm   #48
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Default Re: Maplin stores

A 2015 catalogue can be downloaded here

https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-catalogue-2015-ca37s

Actually far more useful than the awful web site for components.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 10:36 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
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 11:13 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 19th Feb 2018, 8:38 pm   #51
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Sky News have tweeted that Maplin are looking for a buyer in other to avoid administration

https://mobile.twitter.com/skynewsbr...755146240?s=12
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 8:43 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.

https://news.sky.com/story/electrica...gloom-11258241
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 9:29 pm   #53
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I wondered if something was up when I went to Teesside retail park to go to Maplin there just before Christmas (2017) and found that it had vanished and been replaced by 2-3 other stores which I have absolutely no use for.

Maplin and HMV (also now gone from that location) were basically the only reasons I ever went there.
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 9:57 pm   #54
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Maplin stores

As a general rule, banks won't support a pre-pack where the original directors of the failed company remain in post under the new ownership, for obvious reason - you don't give the keys back to the guy that crashed the car. I think we could almost write the script for the likely outcome for Maplin. New company will not take on the debt of the old one, but will cherry pick the stores that are profitable, close down the rest, cease mail order and sell online. I dare say many of the shops are leased rather than owned.

All very said. Should have rationalised their inventory long ago - 80% of their profit will come from 20% of their lines. The low value low turnover stuff we're interested in like resistors, caps etc, is just a nuisance and should have been ditched. Switches, plugs and sockets, yes perhaps, but it's too little too late.

Obviously it will drastically affect the staff, which is a great shame - in every branch I've been in the staff have been courteous, helpful and on the whole, knowledgeable. (I've not been into the Hull branch since a private car parking outfit who patrol the car park issued a ticket to a chum who'd parked next to a large van, and his wheels had overhung the white line of the next bay).

Dire.

I'm looking for some instrument knobs just now - it would never occur to me to see if Maplin have any.

It will be interesting to see if Edinburgh Woolen Mills owner does take a punt on Maplin.
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 10:25 pm   #55
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I hope Maplin stay. There is one at Bath and one at Bristol, both within fairly easy reach. I don't often use physical shops to buy items but when I do Maplin is my first port of call. They might be a bit pricey but usually have what I want.
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 10:40 pm   #56
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
I wondered if something was up when I went to Teesside retail park to go to Maplin there just before Christmas (2017) and found that it had vanished and been replaced by 2-3 other stores which I have absolutely no use for.

Maplin and HMV (also now gone from that location) were basically the only reasons I ever went there.
Thereís a nice new(ish) store outside Durham, the staff are helpfull but most days they outnumber the customers, itís a shame but I canít see a long ter future for them.

John
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 11:19 pm   #57
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Default Re: Maplin stores

We have (for now) Maplins on the outskirts of the Gateshead Metrocentre, in Newcastle city centre, and at a retail park in Cramlington a few miles north east of Newcastle. We are also fortunate enough to have ESR at Cullercoats just north of Tynemouth.

There is also a city centre Maplin in Middlesbrough but I always favoured the Teesside one - easier to park right outside, go in, get what I wanted. And I did actually use it.

I do wonder how much of this situation is due to the general hopelessness of Maplin's website. Even the staff used to advise me that if I was looking for something on their site I should go to Google and look for it from there. If the website had ever been half as good as the paper catalogue used to be then maybe they might have been in a better position now.
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 10:16 am   #58
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I'm surprised by comments which say that Maplin staff are knowledgeable, unfortunately I've always found their product knowledge to be essentially non-existant.
Which isn't surprising, they are probably on minimum wage, and if you pay peanuts you get monkeys!
Or maybe I've just been unlucky at the local branch.
Andy
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 10:43 am   #59
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Maplin are on the BBC news today.

It's being taken as 'yet another high street chain in financial trouble' but says they're looking for a buyer, and if not that a buyer who will take what's left after liquidation.

It sounds grim.

David
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 10:57 am   #60
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Sad and the end of an era, but the company is already a shadow of its former self.
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