Maplin is focusing on next-generation products including home-automation devices and drones as it seeks to triple its range by 2018.

The electricals specialist will extend its reach within home-automated products such as Philips Hue lighting as it aims to have 100,000 SKUs in the next three years, up from its current range of 30,000.

Despite its focus on internet-connected products, Maplin chief executive John Cleland is wary of defining them under the ‘internet of things’ banner.

Cleland said: “We don’t use the internet of things terminology; I know Dixons use that terminology and have a whole strategy around it at the front of their store.

“It is big for us but what we are looking at is the individual elements and trying to bring them together in an ecosystem rather than just simply the internet.”

Cleland said labelling the glut of new tech products as ‘internet of things’ devices would be akin to calling the latest technology in the 1980’s “the video of things”.

He explained: “The reality was there was Betamax and VHS and the two were not interchangeable.”


Amount of sales generated from Maplin’s click-and-collect service.

Maplin’s aggressive expansion of its range comes following increasing take up of its click-and-collect service.

Cleland reveals that since allowing people to collect in-store the service has generated £6.5m in sales from a standing start.

Maplin is also focused on introducing electronic receipts and contactless payments into its stores.

The innovations are a continuation of the company’s turnaround plan, which it began in mid-2012.

Maplin’s turnaround has involved a dramatic shift in its customer demographics. Some 22% of its customers are now female, which represents a 50% increase in the proportion of its female customers.