As a general rule, buying something in a physical shop on the high street is going to cost you more than ordering online. Shops have staff to pay, rent and bills to deal with, while big chains like Amazon can basically do whatever they like. Still when shops like Maplin shut down, you still end up with people complaining that it was down to the fact they charge so much, and that puts people off shopping there. Well if the latest report from The Register is anything to go by, those people might have a point.
While there are people out there who will only ever buy from the cheapest retailer, regardless of what other factors might make it worth spending a bit more money in a real shop, according to The Register some of Maplin's closing down sale prices are still more expensive than the competition. The site compared eight different items, including the Netgear Orb, Phillips Hue starter kit, and Powerbeats 3 wireless headphones, and found that seven of those items were cheaper online from retailers like Amazon, Currys, and eBay.
While it was hardly the most scientific investigation, seeing as how Maplin stocks thousands of products, it's still a bit shocking. While there will no doubt be plenty of bargains to be had in-store, the fact that there are still items that are more expensive than competitors says a lot about Maplin's prices in the first place. While it's unfair to place all of the blame of its collapse on the high prices, the fact that some sale prices are still be more expensive than shopping elsewhere means they definitely can't have helped.
So far administrators PwC haven't confirmed a set date for Maplin's final days of operation, so there's still plenty of time for those prices to be reduced even further. If products are cheaper elsewhere, then they're not likely to be flying off the shelves anytime soon. There's also still chance for the retailer (or part of it) to be rescued by a buyer, though things are looking pretty bleak. [The Register]