Wednesday, July 8, 2015

News: Maplin appoints new CEO

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Rotherham-based electronics retailer, Maplin has announced that John Cleland will step down as CEO later this year and move into a non-executive director role.

Manvers-based Maplin sells a range of products to tech-savvy hobbyists as well as general consumers and now operates from 218 stores.

Oliver Meakin has been appointed as the new CEO of the firm that was sold for £85m to new owners, Rutland Partners in 2014. Taking the role in September 2015, Meakin moves from commercial director, where he held responsibility for eCommerce, buying, merchandising, supply chain and leading a business transformation programme over the last year, which has helped contribute to encouraging annual sales growth.

The latest yearly sales figure climbed 6.3% to £237m and marks six consecutive quarters of positive growth. It is up up from £100m when Montagu Private Equity acquired the business in 2004. Much of Maplin's growth has been fuelled by changes to its online and fulfilment offering, with web sales up 20.6% compared to one year before to represent more than 10% of total sales. Underlying EBITDA (earnings before taxes) in the year to March 21 2015 was flat at £18.3m.

Maplin has nearly tripled its product range in two years and some of the top selling products in the year included drones, CCTV cameras, portable power, powerline adaptors and the 3Doodler, the world's first 3D printing pen.

New initiatives such as reserve at store, and click and collect were key drivers of the growth. Maplin also partners with Shutl to offer a same day delivery service which includes an ASAP delivery service which could see goods delivered within as little as 90 minutes.

In October, Maplin opened its first trade store in Sheffield aimed specifically at sole traders and small businesses.

Cleland, who has previously worked for ASDA, Somerfield and the Co-op, will stay on at Maplin as in a non-exec role as the company creates a new-look senior team.

Darren Shapland, chairman at Maplin, said: "John has completed the three year plan he set out which has delivered a better Maplin with improved stores, wider range and a focus on customer service via the 2600 colleagues in the Maplin business which he has led with drive and commitment which is second to none.

"With this stage complete this is a natural time to handover to Oliver who has worked closely with John over the last three years and can build on the solid platform which has been put in place. The combination of Oliver's skills alongside the management team that John and Oliver have recruited plus John's continued involvement as a non-executive should add both breadth and capability to the delivery of the next stage of the Maplin plan."

John Cleland, CEO at Maplin, said: "It's been a great team effort and I would like to thank all of our colleagues for the commitment they have shown in putting our customers first.

"The results show that our focus on improving the Maplin product and service proposition and our commitment to the best customer experience is working well. We are pleased with the progress made in the last three years marking the delivery of the stabilisation of the Maplin business and the creation of a sound platform for future growth."

Launched by two technology enthusiasts in 1972 who were frustrated by the lack of good quality electronics components, Maplin Electronics became the experts' choice, with a reputation for the best product range and expertise. In 2008 they moved to a 220,000 sq ft state of the art distribution centre and head office at Brookfields Park in Rotherham.

Maplin website

Images: Maplin

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