Graham Harris, CEO:
“I can confirm this morning that it has not been possible to secure a solvent sale of the business and as a result we now have no alternative but to enter into an administration process. During this process Maplin will continue to trade and remains open for business.
The business has worked hard over recent months to mitigate a combination of impacts from sterling devaluation post Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance. This necessitated an intensive search for new capital that in current market conditions has proved impossible to raise. These macro factors have been the principal challenge not the Maplin brand or its market differentiation.
We believe passionately that Maplin has a place on the high street, and that our trust, credibility and expertise meets a customer need that is not supported elsewhere.
We will now work tirelessly alongside Zelf Hussain, Toby Underwood and Ian Green, from PWC, who have been appointed as the as Joint Administrators of Maplin Electronics Limited, to achieve the best possible outcome for all of our colleagues and stakeholders.”
Maplin has experienced a very difficult trading environment since the sterling devaluation post Brexit and with poor consumer spending in the UK retail sector either side of Christmas, the pressures from which the company and Rutland have fought hard to overcome. This has not been possible given the cost of rebuilding the business and the poor sentiment within the retail sector at this time.
Contrary to some media coverage Rutland has not received any cash interest on its loans at any time during the investment. Indeed nearly £20m of cash flow was re-invested in recent periods into a complete overhaul of the website, online systems and trading teams, a refreshed brand proposition and the pilot rollout of a new modernised store format. This was all in order to convert the business to a full omni-channel offering to serve the fast-evolving retail environment.
Ultimately the impact of the external challenges referenced above, and which have coincided with the investments made, have caused financial challenges, which could not be overcome.