Collapsed retailers Warren Evans and Maplin make online comebacks

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The high street failures have both relaunched without physical stores.
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Two of last year’s high street casualties have come back from the dead to relaunch online, the Press Association can reveal.

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 with pre-registered customers able to place orders. A wider consumer launch is due to follow at a later date.

Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Evans said it would be the “first reputable online mattress company”.

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

All the products are made using natural materials and customers can opt for a free 40-night trial to test the mattress. Prices will range from £290 to £1,950.

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.

“I don’t believe any of them are going to make their guarantee period, let alone be satisfying to the consumer,” he said. “Most of what I’m seeing is massive advertising budgets.”

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

“Losing the business that my team and I lovingly created and nurtured to the 14-store success, was an utterly heart-rending experience,” Mr Evans said.

“The challenging market conditions put us under immense pressure and despite our best efforts to overcome them, they proved too much – and as with many of the big high street names, we were forced to close.”

Meanwhile Maplin has been open for online orders since late January, though it is unclear who is behind the revival.

The 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 is registered to a co-working space in West London. Its only director is tax consultant Stephen Hoy.

Messages posted to Maplin’s Twitter indicate that some former staff of the collapsed chain are employed by its new incarnation.

Maplin did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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