Maplin Electronic Supplies was established in 1972 as a small mail order business by Roger and Sandra Allen and Doug Simmons. The company originally started in a bedroom at the Allens’ home after the two electronics enthusiasts were disappointed by the complexity and poor availability of existing electronic component suppliers.
The trio placed a small advertisement in an electronics magazine after printing the company’s first 28-page catalogue, which would be offered free to callers. The company began to create a reputation for offering first grade electronic components that are delivered exactly as shown in the catalogue by first class post. Maplin now has over 200 stores.
Pragma was asked by Rutland Partners to complete a targeted programme of commercial due diligence on Maplin, with a particular focus on product and pricing strategies, as well as considering plans and potential for future growth.
Conducted several conversations with management and attended management presentations to discuss overall business strategy and the key areas of the business under review
Evaluation of pricing and product strategies through the analysis of trading data across key product categories, including analysis of ASP, margin and volumes
Primary qualitative consumer research with current and lapsed customers. This comprised focus groups to probe general buying behaviour and perceptions of Maplin. The groups were also used to test perceptions of key strategies underpinning the business plan, in order to support validation of plans for future growth
Assessment of plans for future growth through a review of the business plan and financial model for international sales, with input from industry experts to interrogate forecasts
Maplin’s owners have sold the electricals retailer to private equity firm Rutland Partners for £85m. Retiring chairman of Maplin John Lovering said following the deal that he believes the retailer is “on the threshold of a great period of its history
The output was a concise, focused commercial due diligence report detailing Pragma’s review and assessment of the key areas under consideration.
Rutland acquired Maplin in June 2014.