Friday, March 9, 2018

News: Maplin makes redundancies following a lack of interest from potential buyers

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The administrators of Rotherham-based Maplin has announced a number of redundancies as they have so far been unable to find a buyer for the electronics retailer.

Last week Zelf Hussain, Toby Underwood and Ian Green of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of the business that sells a range of products to tech-savvy hobbyists as well as general consumers and operates from 217 stores, employing 2,335 members of staff.

Last year, the firm transferred operations and now has a "front office" of the commercial, marketing, ecommerce and digital function based together in London, with a "back office" of the HR, ļ¬nance, IT, warehouse and distribution and contact centre functions based in Rotherham.

Maplin has 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. 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.

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The joint administrators have continued to trade the business as normal whilst discussions take place with interested parties in an attempt to find a buyer.

In an update this week, PwC announced that it has not been possible to secure a buyer for the business. While the administrators remain open to interest from potential buyers, it has been necessary to make a total of 63 redundancies at Maplin's head offices in London and Rotherham (55 in London and eight in Rotherham).

Toby Underwood, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: "It is with real regret that we have made this decision. We are grateful for the support of the employees during this difficult period and we will make every effort to help the affected staff, working with the Maplin HR team over the coming days.

"The company is continuing to trade but due to a lack of interest we may be required to initiate a controlled closure programme.

"We still believe there is strong value in the company and we remain focused on doing all we can to preserve the business while we continue trying to achieve a sale."

Maplin website

Images: Maplin

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