Collapsed retailers make return as online businesses

Two of last year’s high street casualties have come back from the dead to relaunch online.

Maplin, which went into administration, has been open for online orders since January

Warren Evans, which collapsed into administration in February last year, will this month reopen for business after its eponymous founder revived the brand, while Maplin has been open for online orders since late January, though it is unclear who is behind the revival.

Warren Evans, run by Mr Evans and a small team including former employees, will offer a range of mattresses for adults and children. The website will go live on Tuesday March 12.

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Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Evans said: “There’s just six mattresses within the range. Four of those we are doing at zero profit for children, because they are often sold inadequate and overpriced products.”

Mr Evans added that he has not been impressed with the quality of mattresses sold by a crop of online start-ups which have emerged in recent years. “Most of what I’m seeing is massive advertising budgets,” he said.

The original Warren Evans was founded in 1978 and prior to administration employed over 280 staff and had 14 showrooms.

Meanwhile, the Maplin brand - including the website and social media handles - was sold to a mystery buyer after administrators from PwC stepped in last year.

According to filings at Companies House, the new firm, which previously had an office and large warehouse in Rotherham, is registered to a co-working space in London.

Its only director is tax consultant Stephen Hoy.