Maplin is a retailer currently in a state of flux. Unable to obtain credit, the company is considering calling in the administrators. Thankfully, help may be on the horizon – but it could see Maplin offer smart home installation.
Rutland Partners, the investment firm that snapped up Maplin in 2014, is reportedly in talks with a number of buyers about the retailer’s potential future. One of the subjects of the discussion is a future where Maplin could not only sell smart home products, but could also offer installation.
The plan is all part of the Rutland’s ‘2020 Vision Strategy’, which would see Maplin go head-to-head with Amazon and Currys to be the go-to choice for smart home products. Rutland believes that by offering a way for customers to not only purchase smart home products, but also to have to them installed, is a way to defeat the competition.
Unfortunately, the installation route is not exactly new. John Lewis and Currys both offer smart home installation services, although both take a different approach. Currys has offers installation through its Knowhow team, while John Lewis works with local contractors to offers its customers installation options. It’s unclear which route Maplin would go down.
Exponential Smart Home Growth
Maplin’s own research has shown that demand for smart home products is growing exponentially in the UK, with growth estimated at 135% in 2017. That’s largely thanks to the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but also due to harder-to-install products such as the Nest Learning Thermostat. With demand set to grow even more, then users could soon start asking for more products that require professional installation – something Maplin could offer in its vast array of retail stores.
The smart home installation service won’t be too much of a stretch for Maplin, but could be lucrative. The company already partners with TSG to offer installation of the Nest Learning Thermostat to its customers, while it also offers a smart home survey to recommend new products.
Any sale of Maplin should happen pretty swiftly, with the company expecting to finalise a deal without needing to bring in the administrators.