My Last (ever) visit to a Maplin shop.
I needed a motor start capacitor to repair my sister's tumble drier in a bit of a hurry, she'd described the problem over the phone so I told her what she needed to look for on the motor, she took the thing off (despite her current desk job, my sister used to work on electronics/electromechanical assembly lines) and took it to a local supplier who thought he was dealing with an idiot and tried to charge her £27 for one, she declined, waited for me to finish work and we drove up to the nearest Maplins, where we got two of the buggers for the princely sum of £9.
Now, my previous visit to the same shop was a couple of years earlier, they still had a couple of people working there who understood me when I started asking for various chips, I got what I needed (and bought a couple of other things on the basis of 'what the hell, I might use this').
This time?, I've never felt that unwelcome in a shop before, especially when I made it clear it was components I was after, someone pointed to a hatch in the rear wall where they kept the sole remaining staff member with any sort of electronics background caged up, I went up, told the guy what I needed, got the things paid, never went back.
Somewhere I think I still have a Maplin catalogue which consists of a number of Gestenered(sic?) pages stapled together, it may have escaped the great (and now regretted) loft purge of '98.