Electricals specialist Maplin is to open travel stores next year as the battle for spend in the lucrative captive market hots up.
Maplin is on the hunt for stores in airports and railway stations where it will offer a tailored product selection to a captive audience of shoppers.
Chief executive John Cleland told Retail Week the stores will sell a range of audio, MP3 players, mobile chargers, portable memory, cables and iPad accessories in the stores.
He said: “Our primary driver will continue to be high street sales but we are looking at a travel hub format to capture people on the move who need technology.”
Cleland said Maplin’s primary focus will be to open a store in a London airport, but said that as good space rarely becomes available, the retailer could first open the format in railway stations.
Maplin may use a wholly-owned or franchise model to open the stores and would even consider taking a concession in another retailer.
The retailer is looking at a number of new formats. It is set to open a new trade counter business at its Rotherham HQ to sell its full range of trade products including CCTV systems, security lighting and burglar alarms to tradesmen and is looking to launch trade counters in other retailers.
Maplin is also considering tying up with retailers to launch retail concessions and had been in talks with Cometto launch the format before the retailer collapsed into administration this month.
Cleland said Maplin has benefitted from shoppers looking to buy add-on products to purchases made in the Comet Clearance Sale.
He is engineering a strategy to build the retailer’s multichannel business and extend its store estate to 300 shops by 2015.
Cleland said: “We want to double the range of products we sell online from 15,000 to 30,000 SKUs in the next three years, in some cases we will work on fulfilling orders by delivering straight from the manufacturer to the customer.”
Maplin last month secured £20m of credit from Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets to fund its expansion.