Online sales star turn for Maplin as it sees strongest growth for seven years

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Electronics retailer Maplin reported a healthy jump in life-for-like sales following strong growth in internet sales.

T​he ​group said like-for-like sales rose 4.3 per cent in the year to March 21​.

​​​The Rotherham-based firm said total annual sales including new stores jumped 6.3 per cent to £236m, the strongest growth since 2008.

The star performer was internet sales, which rose 20.6 per cent and the firm said online sales now represent over 10 per cent of total sales. Maplin has expanded its range to over 45,000 products with more goods available via the internet and in-store through click and collect ser- vices.

​The group said ​​underlying annual earnings were flat at £18.3m, following significant investment in marketing as the group raises the brand’s profile.

​CEO​ John Cleland said: “The results show that our focus on improving the Maplin product and service proposition and our commitment to the best customer experience is working well.”

​The group said that as​ a natural evolution of the team, Mr Cleland will step down as CEO later this year and will take on a non-executive director role.

He will hand over to Oliver Meakin, currently the managing director of Maplin Direct, in September.

​Chairman ​Darren Shapland​ said:​ “John has completed the three-year plan he set out which has delivered a better Maplin with improved stores, wider range and a focus on customer service via the 2600 colleagues in the Maplin business which he has led with drive and commitment which is second to none.

​“​With this stage complete this is a natural time to hand over to Oliver.”