When I was "on the road", I used to call in at quite a few Maplin stores, here and there - mainly to top up on "service consumables".
To be honest, I found the staff to be "variable"; but there again, I don't much like being pestered
when out shopping.
At Doncaster (referred to earlier), there was an "older guy" who always used to welcome me, and I enjoyed talking with him. But, as for the younger ones, I don't remember getting much joy from them. Maybe it's just an age
(generational) thing. And I guess I missed the (endless) glasses of sweet chai I used to get in the souks.
I used to use Maplin's mail order service back in the '80's for my earliest hobby electronics projects.
Maybe they should have stuck to mail order (and now, of course, on line), and selling components, kits, tools, test gear, and books. No need for large stores scattered around the country; they could have stayed in Southend!