Tuesday, August 12, 2014

News: New owners install new chairman at Maplin


Rotherham-based electronics retailer, Maplin, has announced that Darren Shapland will be appointed as non-executive chairman of the company, taking over from John Lovering, who retired as chairman in June after the £85m sale to new owners, Rutland Partners.

Manvers-based Maplin sells a range of 15,000 products to tech-savvy hobbyists as well as general consumers. Rutland, the investor which specialises in special situations, operational change and turnaround, said that acquiring Maplin represents an exciting opportunity to build on recently improved performance in the business and help management deliver a broad based strategic plan aimed at releasing its further potential.

Shapland's career has seen him take on senior roles at Carpetright, Poundland, Sainsbury's, Wolseley, Superdrug and Arcadia.

John Cleland, the CEO retained by Rutland Partners at Maplin, said: "We are all delighted to have the opportunity to work with Darren. He brings a wealth of business and retail knowledge, which will undoubtedly add momentum to the solid growth and success of the business last year."

Maplin has delivered consistently strong like-for-like sales improvement over the course of the past 12 months and continues to deliver against its growth strategy under new ownership. Turnover for the 64-week period to March 2014 was £269m, up from £100m when Montagu Private Equity acquired the business in 2004.

Maplin has doubled its product range in two years and invested both in its store estate and the creation of a new website.

Darren Shapland, who will become non-executive chairman of Maplin in September, said: "I am delighted to be working with Maplin as non-executive chairman. The business model is unique and the company has great plans for the future. I'm looking forward to joining a great team."

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 Manvers in Rotherham.

Maplin website

Images: Maplin / Wolseley


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