Since Maplin Electronics was be ceasing trading in 2018, I thought it about time I dug out my old catalogues going
back to 1979 and put them on the site. Maplin was a company like "Radio Shack" in the States or "Tandy" in the UK
When they started they sold electronic components and also kits, test equipment and some AV products like disco
equipment, turntables, flashing lights etc. In recent years the component side was still there but smaller and many
more products including alarm systems radio control etc. were sold. My first catalogue was 1979. See below.
Ever year the catalogue became thicker. The 1979 catalogue was only about 10mm thick, the last catalogue I
bought was 1994 and it was 30mm thick. The catalogues always had a science fiction theme to their front cover.
By 1993 the science fiction theme had gone. I did not buy one every year. Only the 7 you see here.
Maplin Electronic Supplies was established in 1972 as a small mail order electronics parts business run from a
home. The first catalogue had 28 pages. My first catalogue above from 1979 had 280 pages and my last catalogue in
1994 had 607 pages. The first store opened in Westcliff-on-Sea. In 2017 Maplin had 217 stores and 2500 employees.
On 28th Feb 2018 Maplin went into administration.
In 1994 the original owners sold the business to the private equity firm Saltire plc.
In 2001, Graphite Capital led a management buy-out of Maplin worth £41 million
In 2004, Montagu Private Equity purchased 67% of Maplin for £244 million.
In 2014, Montagu Private Equity put Maplin up for sale
In 2014, Rutland Partners bought Maplin from Montagu for £85 million. In Feb 2018 they went into administration
and were looking for a buyer. Could this be another high street store struggling to survive with online competition
from companies like Amazon and other online retails? It will be sad to see them go.
It looks unlikely there will be any other outcome.
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