The new owner of tech retail chain Maplin is unafraid of the recent merger between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse – and the increased competition it could bring.
Last week Dixons Carphone deputy CEO Andrew Harrison said he plans to have a store ‘five minutes from most people’s home or office’, but Nick Morrill, managing partner at Maplin owner Rutland Partners, is unperturbed.
When asked whether he sees Dixons Carphone as a major rival in the tech retail sector, or if Maplin is unique enough to set itself apart, he told PCR: "I think it’s the latter really – all the statistical evidence on both sides of that conversation seems to indicate that if Maplin opens a new store in close proximity to Currys/PC World… and I guess it would be the same with Dixons Carphone given that we don’t do any smartphones… there is no discernible shift in sales patterns of Currys/PC World whenever we’ve opened close to them.
"And whenever we trade in close proximity to them, our numbers are our numbers and they don’t seem to be influenced by traffic in the other store. And I think that’s because when you walk into Currys/PC World now, I guess you see lots of large plasma screens, washing machines, kettles – lots of larger ticket items we just don’t sell.
"So the product specification, the target market and the price point agenda is completely different. And I think therefore the two are actually quite complementary."
Morrill also told PCR he plans to grow Maplin’s online business substantially over the next 12 months.
Rutland Partners acquired Maplin from Montague Private Equity in an £85 million deal in late June.