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Retail victims Maplin and Warren Evans return online

Sign of
times:
Maplin
had to
shut its
217 stores
but has
returned
with a
website
PICTURE: PA

TWO high street casualties have come back from the dead to relaunch online.

Electronics retailer Maplin, which was sold to a mystery buyer after entering administration in February last year, now has a website up and running.

And bed store Warren Evans, which collapsed the same month, is poised to return tomorrow selling mattresses made from natural materials.

Billed as the ‘first reputable online mattress company’, the revived firm will start taking orders from pre-registered customers ahead of a full launch later.

Warren Evans, who founded the firm in 1978, had 14 stores and 280 staff before a tough market forced the ‘heart-rending’ shutdown. He told the Press Association he was unimpressed with the quality of mattresses offered by a crop of online start-ups, adding: ‘I don’t believe any of them are going to make their guarantee period, let alone be satisfying to the consumer. Most of what I’m seeing is massive advertising budgets.’

Maplin had 217 stores and 2,500 staff before it collapsed.

Documents filed at Companies House say it is now registered to a co-working space in west London and tax consultant Stephen Hoy is the sole director. Social media messages suggest some ex-staff have been given jobs with the company.

Wanted: Homely touch and £1.8m for rundown gem

Ripe for development: House in Chiswick has large windows and high ceilings PICS: SAVILLS/SWNS

A RUNDOWN semi-detached Edwardian home has hit the market for the first time in nearly 60 years priced at £1.8million.

The five-bedroom property in Chiswick, west London, was owned by a retired engineer who left it practically untouched before his death last year.

The asking price is eight times the England and Wales average and almost four times higher than a typical home in the capital.

Next step: Staircase needs work

But estate agents Savills say a £1million transformation of the house, which has high ceilings and large windows, could make it worth £3.2million.

Euan Rollo, of Savills, said: ‘It has to be one of the last remaining opportunities to redevelop a home in one of west London’s most desirable streets.

‘Properties like this do not come up often.’

Telling truth about finances profits us all

ONE in four of us lies to family and friends about our personal finances, a study has found.

A similar number have told fibs to their other half about money — lies that led to a row for 37 per cent, a poll by Lloyds Bank found.

It has has now launched ‘The M-word’ campaign and courses through counselling service Relate to stop money being a dirty word.

Relate patron Prof Tanya Byron said: ‘Talking openly about money can help us share responsibility, strengthen our relationships, and protect our mental wellbeing.’

Business Bites

■ ‘BALMY’ weather increased footfall at shopping centres and high streets in the last week of February by 2.5 per cent, said the British Retail Consortium. But the month had the sharpest year-on-year drop in five years — two per cent.

■ NATWEST is testing ‘cutting edge’ biometric technology that will allow card payments to be verified with the touch of a finger. In the trial, 200 people will verify transactions over £30 using their fingerprints.

■ CUSTOMER satisfaction with energy providers has dropped after price rises and the collapse of nine firms. The poll for uSwitch.com showed a fall from 74 to 72 per cent. Ovo was top at 88 per cent.

■ CANDLE sales have led to brighter times for smaller gift boutiques with sales rising a third in the past year. People spent £40 on an average of six a year, with 255million sold in 2018, software firm Vend reports.

■ PRESSURE on services such as the NHS and care sector has led to more than a million people volunteering for the first time in the past year. Some 1.3million people signed up, the Royal Voluntary Service reports.