Electronics chain Maplin could be the next former giant of high street retail to disappear and see its presence replaced by charity shops and Caffe Neros, as the money men currently in charge are said to be planning for a possible pre-pack administration to fend off total annihilation.

Current owner Rutland Partners only bought the group in 2014, and things have not been kind since.

The chain lost some of its credit insurance deals last year, which resulted in some suppliers pulling their support and products -- often the first stage in chains going bust, as this loss of confidence tends to snowball.

Maplin told Sky News that it hopes a full going concern sale is on the cards, although other sources claim a pre-pack administration is also possible.

The latter option is a particularly grim piece of financial wizardry, wherein profitable parts of the business are hacked off from the debts and sold separately before any insolvency process kicks in, often scything headcounts and premises in the process.

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