Maplins

Anyone noticed they are in a bit of trouble at the moment ?

Serious blow if you are in the UK.

Boardburner2:
Anyone noticed they are in a bit of trouble at the moment ?

Serious blow if you are in the UK.

More than a bit ...

And really only a serious blow if you work for them. Very much not nice for the staff.

IMHO they abandoned to DIY electronic hobby market a long time ago. What's the use of trying to buy resistors if they only have 3 of the value you want. And they cost 3 or 4 times what they cost elsewhere.

I'm prepared to pay a small premium for the convenience of buying in a shop - but there are limits.

To keep things in perspective, I did buy my first Uno from Maplin.

...R

Robin2:
More than a bit ...

And really only a serious blow if you work for them. Very much not nice for the staff.

IMHO they abandoned to DIY electronic hobby market a long time ago. What's the use of trying to buy resistors if they only have 3 of the value you want. And they cost 3 or 4 times what they cost elsewhere.

I'm prepared to pay a small premium for the convenience of buying in a shop - but there are limits.

There are two large branches of Maplin within a couple of miles of me and one smaller branch within a mile.
If they close, which seems likely, there won't be a high street retailer of components anywhere near me, in London.
Cricklewood Electronics is over a half hour drive away.
If you only want a few small things, the likes of Farnell are just as expensive when you add in the shipping costs.
China is cheaper, if you're willing to wait a couple of months for delivery.
As you say, convenience is worth paying a little extra for.

Boardburner2:
Serious blow if you are in the UK.

Not here.
Just about anything I would want from Maplin, I can get at the same price or cheaper from Clas Ohlson, or next day with Amazon Prime.

Sometimes useful for managers’ specials for salvage, but that’s about it.

Henry_Best:
If you only want a few small things, the likes of Farnell are just as expensive when you add in the shipping costs.

RS Components doesn't add a shipping charge - I don't know how their prices compare with Farnell.

The BIG difference between RS and Maplin is that RS actually have the stuff I want :slight_smile:

I get most of my Arduino bits from Hobby Components and some from HobbyTronics.

...R

Robin2:
The BIG difference between RS and Maplin is that RS actually have the stuff I want :slight_smile:

...R

I know but it is sometimes cathartic to sneak out and just have a browse for the spangit washer you are missing for a job.

GrooveFlotilla:
Not here.
Just about anything I would want from Maplin, I can get at the same price or cheaper from Clas Ohlson, or next day with Amazon Prime.

Sometimes useful for managers' specials for salvage, but that's about it.

I gradually slipped into using Amazon and I am really surprised how much I have bought from them. Their employment practices sound grim though so I am going to make the effort to try and avoid using them.

Boardburner2:
I know but it is sometimes cathartic to sneak out and just have a browse for the spangit washer you are missing for a job.

Couldn't agree more.

But then you need to go to the spangit washer shop, and not Maplin.

I was in one of their stores today to buy some short lengths of cable. I have a (non-Arduino) project in mind that could use a very small camera. As Maplin sell drones I asked if they stocked the sort of small camera that drones use - alas, no. If they had had one I may have bought it. My interest is rather low so I will quite likely never bother to buy one online.

...R

Hi,
We had a chain of stores call Dick Smith, used to be mail order, as it was called then, and bloomed into capital city stores and some suburban and rural stores, slowly faded out of components and hobbyist stuff, finally got bought and is now online only.

We have Altronics and Jaycar, both in capital cities and has re-sellers/agents around the country.
They seem to manage okay, keeping in touch with the local electronics magazines.
Sometimes collaborating with the magazines to make projects and kits.

They still publish a catalogue every year, yyyaaayyy..


My local supplier is a Jaycar reseller plus has his own line of components, Arduino, Pi, TV accessories, drones, cables, school scientific equipment and kits.
Good place to go for a browse.

Also does short production runs and product R&D, I worked there for 2 years.

Its sad that any business has problems, but the interweb has caused a lot of sink or swim situations.
Most businesses now have to learn how to continually adapt the the market, cos it changes so much and fast.

Tom... :slight_smile:
PS. Do they still make buggywhips?

You have my sympathy. Radio Shack (not RS) used to be everywhere, used to be great place for parts and conversation in electronics hobby. They started sucking around the time they had “You got question, we don’t know the answer” motto and started shoving cell phones on everyone who tries to step in. They rarely had the common part I need and I often end up ordering online and having to wait a week.

The last major purchase from them was a digital soldering iron station, it has worked great for some years. Uses common Hakko tips, cheap replacement irons (if you modify cheap Hakko model to work correctly on Radio Shack station) and still works.

When they started closing down, the early sales sucked. The % off sales were from MSRP and not from store’s regular price so they often were higher. When the % off sale got down cheaper than Amazon’s regular price, the items were gone already like solder and tools.

There isn’t a single Radio Shack left within 1 hour drive from me and if I expanded that to 2 hours drive, only 2 are still open. Back in the 1990s it’d be easy 100 Radio Shack within 2 hours drive from my house.

There aren't any Radio Shack near me anymore either. I was in Starkville MS as the one there was closing down. They were marking everything down for final closing out. We stopped in because we needed a fuse or something for some instrument we were working on and were trying to source one local before ordering and waiting a night. I ended up spending about a fifty dollars in there on things at 0.99 and 0.49 each. I bought a whole bunch of UNOs and relay boards and ethernet boards for 0.99 each. I bought some hookup wire kits and stuff. Really stocked up.

I knew radio shack was toast about 20 years ago when I needed a piece for a CB antenna for my truck and I walked in and asked the guy and he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "We don't sell radio equipment sir, it's just the name."

Looks like game-over for Maplin - the "clearance sale" signs have gone up, and the official receivers have a notice on the website.

As always in such cases, I feel sorry for the staff.

GrooveFlotilla:

As always in such cases, I feel sorry for the staff.

At least Toy R Us and Maplins have not done the traditional shutting down just before Christmas.

I picked up a set of the parts drawers from my local RS when they shut down. Now I have lots of nice storage in my electronic workshop.

They weren't cheap, but where else can you get lots of solid steel drawers for less than cost?

GrooveFlotilla:
As always in such cases, I feel sorry for the staff.

The staff i know have had little trouble in finding new jobs despite their age.
Some left before redundancy as well.
Quite well thought of locally and replacement staff were bussed in from out side.

Boardburner2:
The staff i know have had little trouble in finding new jobs despite their age.
Some left before redundancy as well.
Quite well thought of locally and replacement staff were bussed in from out side.

Have any of your local shops closed yet? All of my four nearest were still open last week, although a couple were fairly empty.

MorganS:
I picked up a set of the parts drawers from my local RS when they shut down. Now I have lots of nice storage in my electronic workshop.

They weren’t cheap, but where else can you get lots of solid steel drawers for less than cost?

Apache Street Reclamation?
(formerly known as the Honeywell Surplus Store)

Local shops are still open.
They are selling off drawers and other shopfittings as well.

ChrisTenone:
Apache Street Reclamation?
(formerly known as the Honeywell Surplus Store)

Reminds me of Henrys radio.

Maplin's web site closes today (30th April).

I walked passed my local Maplin shop and it had been cleared out of most useful stuff, components etc.