Maplin is targeting between 20 and 30 sites across the UK, the incoming chief executive of the electricals specialist has revealed.

  • Maplin reports flat full-year profits
  • Incoming chief executive says there are more opportunities in London
  • New boss aims to carry on work of predecessor

Speaking to Retail Week, after reporting flat full-year profits, Oliver Meakin said: “We have identified 20 to 30 locations where we believe we could have a Maplin store. We have agents looking for us.”

Meakin, who will replace John Cleland as boss in September, said there are “opportunities” to have more stores in central London and the business had found little evidence of cannibalisation from having shops relatively close together.

Other areas being considered are Birmingham, Manchester, Northern Ireland, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

However, Meakin, who is currently managing director of Maplin Direct, said he was happy with the 217 stores Maplin has and does not want to open shops “willy nilly”.

Maplin has completed a three-year turnaround plan that kicked off in 2012. As part of the plan it tripled its product range to 44,000. “If you are going to be a specialist, you need to have an extended rage,” said Meakin.

Maplin’s incoming boss said he would carry on the work of his predecessor and did not anticipate any “radical” change in strategy.

He added: “It’s about continuing the good progress we have made around multichannel and trying to accelerate that.”

Earnings flat

Maplin revealed that underlying EBITDA in the year to March 21 was flat at £18.3m. The group said the result was due to “significant investment in brand marketing”.

In April, Maplin reported a 4.3% increase in full-year like-for-likes, while total revenues rose 6.3% to £237m.

Maplin was acquired by Rutland Partners from Montagu Private Equity in an £85m deal in June last year.

Meakin said Rutland has been “incredibly supportive”. He added: “We are in a good position financially.”