Maplin goes into administration

Rotherham and London-based electronics retailer Maplin Electronics Limited, owned by Rutland Partners, has gone into administration.

Zelf Hussain, Toby Underwood and Ian Green of PwC have been appointed joint administrators.

PwC said Maplin employs 2,335 staff and has annual turnover of £235.8 million.

Maplin operates 217 stores across the UK and Ireland.

“The company experienced a decline in performance as a result of the softening of consumer demand in what has been a challenging retail environment and higher-priced (US denominated) products,” said PwC.

“A solvent sale of the business had been pursued by management in recent weeks but unfortunately could not be concluded.

“Given the cash position of the company, the directors resolved to put Maplin into administration.

“The joint administrators will continue to trade the business as normal whilst discussions take place with interested parties in an attempt to find a buyer.”

Hussain said: “The challenging conditions in the UK retail sector are well documented.

“Like many other retailers, Maplin has been hit hard by a slowdown in consumer spending and more expensive imports as the pound has weakened.

“Our initial focus as administrators will be to engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the company.

“We will continue to trade the business as normal whilst a buyer is sought.

“Staff have been paid their February wages and will continue to be paid for future work while the company is in administration.”

Maplin CEO Graham Harri 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.

“The business has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post Brexit, 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.

“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.”