What Happened To MCMElectronics.com?
MCM Electronics was an electronics shop that quickly changed its direction when its owners identified a gap in the market and started selling replacement parts to other service centers. The company expanded both in the B2B and B2C markets. It claimed to have thousands of products from more than 600 vendors by the mid-90s. MCMElectronics.com was the company’s official website.
Today, anyone attempting to find MCMElectronics.com receives a short message: “This site can’t be reached.” What could have happened to a company that once claimed it had “access to over 1.5 million electronic parts and related products.”
We took some time to find out what happened to MCMElectronics.com. This article follows the company's history, the products it distributed, and changes in ownership over the years.
The History Of MCMElectronics.com
MCM Electronics was established in 1976 in Dayton, Ohio. There is not much information about the people that started the company.
According to an archived page of the MCM Electronics website, “Shortly after its founding, MCM began selling replacement electronic parts to other service shops in the area and … [became] one of the premier distributors in the consumer electronics industry.”
MCM Electronics launched its website MCMElectronics.com in late 1998. Reminiscent of the websites of the 1990s, the website was quite simple back then. It had a brief description of the company, its address, the products it offered, and links to a free catalog, hot deals, and parcel tracking.
Even though there is little news about how it happened, it looks like MCM Electronics would later become part of Premier Electronics. Premier Electronics also owned the Akron Brass and Newark Electronics brands.
MCM Electronics boasted that it had over 40,000 products in stock. The company had customers in different sectors: business, domestic, electronic hobbyists, and repair technicians.
When someone promises that they carry over 40,000 products, you can be assured that you will get almost anything you need from them. This seemed to be the case with MCM. The digital publication in power electronics, EEPower.com, described MCM as a company that “can provide most general electronic components.”
Examples of electronic products stocked by MCM included computer hardware and software, semiconductors, car audio, and TV/VCR repair and replacement parts, and test equipment. The company also supplied chemicals, tools, soldering equipment, technician aids, and safety and security equipment.
Premier Farnell Acquires MCM Electronics’ Parent Company
In 1996, Premier Farnell, an electronics distribution company based in the UK, acquired the owner of MCM, Premier Electronics, and all its subsidiaries.
Premier Farnell described itself as “a global, business-to-business, small order, high service distributor of electronic components and industrial products to the design, maintenance and engineering sectors.” The London Stock Exchange-listed company adds that it operates “in 21 countries and trades in over 100, with approximately 4,650 employees worldwide.”
Affected By A Fall In Demand
In 2001, MCM faced one of the major headwinds in its history when slowing economies on both sides of the Atlantic saw a decline in orders. In that year, MCM saw a decline of 12% in orders as the demand for domestic appliance spares went down.
The 2001 challenges led Premier Farnell to axe 140 employees, freeze new hires in the US, and reduce the amount spent on marketing.
Another year that was particularly challenging for MCM was 2009. In a trading report, Premier Farnell announced that MCM sales had gone down almost 15%. It attributed this decline to challenging market conditions in North America. However, the company announced that it was making inroads into the online space, where 59% of its new customers came from.
MMC Gets Exclusive Rights To Distribute RCA Television Parts
In October 2009, MMC Electronics announced that it had been awarded the exclusive distribution rights for RCA television out-of-warranty parts. The RCA (Radio Corporation of America) was an American electronics company credited for the radio industry's growth in the 1920s.
In a statement regarding the exclusive distribution rights, the then President and General Manager of MCM, Phil Minix, is quoted in a press release saying, “We’re pleased to announce that MCM now offers this entire available inventory of out-of-warranty genuine RCA Television parts shipped quickly and conveniently with a single phone call to MCM.”
The General Manager of Product Lifecycle at TTE Technology, Inc. (the marker of the RCA out-of-warranty parts), Joe Sannella, expressed his excitement about the collaboration. He is cited by the same press release saying, “Their [MCM’s] ability to deliver one-stop shopping for RCA television Projection, DLP and CRT Television spare parts will simplify the process and make it more cost-effective for servicers and consumers in the event a TV repair is needed.”
An Industry Leader In Environmental Protection
When MCM announced new environmental programs in July 2010, it also claimed that it “leads the industry with everything from employee-driven programs like vegetable gardens on company grounds, to critically important programs such as properly recycling obsolete electronic components.”
In the 2010 press release, MCM announced that it would be “re-using shipping boxes instead of automatically shipping orders out in a new container.”
MCM boasted of other environmentally-friendly programs such as the “Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper; environmentally-friendly soy ink used on the company’s catalogs; recycling programs at all corporate locations, [cutting] waste by over 33% in … twelve months.”
MCM also said that it was “switching to ‘green’ vendors for everything from bathroom supplies to office materials [and using] interactive flyers and catalogs which are now housed on the company website and reduced paper consumption significantly.”
The Merger That marked The End Of MCM
In August 2017, reports started indicating that Premier Farnell had decided to merge the MCM brand into its other subsidiary Newark element14.
In an indication that the company was seriously thinking about the future of MCM, Premier Farnell’s head of PR and communications, Holly Smart, was clear. She said, “We are continually reviewing our organizational design … – part of this has been to look at how MCM Electronics fits into Premier Farnell’s core business strategy.”
It looks like the review that Smart was talking about did not augur well for MCM in the long run. Its website went offline at the beginning of October 2017. The company told its customers, “Now, MCM will be strengthening this partnership [merger with Newark element14] under the Newark name,” marking the end of the brand's four-decade history.