COMET closing down sales start

| November 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

By
Harry Glass

07:32 EST, 17 November 2012


|

10:31 EST, 17 November 2012

Stricken electricals retail chain Comet will close 41 stores within a fortnight unless a buyer can be found, administrators confirmed today, making redundancies ‘inevitable’.

However, administrators Deloitte said they would look to place staff from closing stores into other nearby outlets.

Closing down sales began today at 27 of the stores, where up to 500 jobs could be under threat.  A further 14 closing down sales will begin early next week.

Comet closures: Some stores are having clearance sales now

Comet closures: Some stores are having clearance sales now

Where the stores to be closed are located is not yet known, but the remaining 195 shops are expected to keep trading in the important run-up period to Christmas, when footfall will steadily increase and heavier sales be expected.

Rival electricals group Maplin is expected to snap up at least some of the stricken stores.

Chris Farrington, joint administrator,
said: ‘We are very grateful to the company’s employees for their
professionalism, loyalty and support at this difficult time and all
employees will of course continue to be paid for all the work they do
while the company is in administration.’

Deloitte had already announced 330
redundancies at the company – there are around 6,600 employees in total –
but there have been no job losses among shop staff at the
chain’s 236 stores as yet.

The bulk of the job cuts so far have been
made in Comet’s head office in Rickmansworth, Herts, as well as its site
in Hull and call centre in Clevedon, Somerset.

The collapse of Comet marks one of the
biggest high street casualties since the demise of Woolworths in 2008
and came a month after the failure of JJB Sports.

The group was hit by weak high street
trading conditions, competition from online rivals and being unable to
secure the trade credit insurance needed to safeguard suppliers.

In particular, it was knocked by the
lack of first-time home buyers, which had been key customers for Comet,
according to Deloitte.

The high street electricals market in
the UK has come under huge pressure as cash-strapped shoppers put off
purchases of big-ticket items such as TVs and large appliances and
online rivals take a bigger slice of the sector.

Comet’s administration comes just
months after it was taken over by investment firm OpCapita, which bought
the chain for a nominal £2 in February.

Angry staff at the chain have called
for ministers to investigate the retailer’s collapse and the way its
former private equity owners ran the company.

The comments below have not been moderated.

If Comet had provided super customer service (more difficult to do online, but Amazon manages to do it), they might have survived. However, their staff hadn’t much of a clue, the shops were tatty, the prices not especially attractive and their management dreadful. They didn’t deserve to survive. Like British Leyland and other complacent British brands before them, good riddance, I

amazon can afford to take a few pounds of their products they have no shops to wander around and check out the look of the item, they pay no sales assistants and of course THEY DO NOT PAY CORPORATION TAXES TO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT like comet do so of course they are not playing on level playing.
these companies are robbing the british public of billions and no one cares all that money could employ more people nurses teacher police men the army and so many other services which have and are stll being cut . i feel sorry tor comet and many other british stores it is time for the govt to close loopholes

mylife somewhere
,

liverpool,
17/11/2012 18:33

Very sad for the employees, but it was a rubbish chain. On-line sales will kill a lot of second rate shops, but not dear old St John Lewis I am certain – except for their bed linen of course :)

Ulpian
,

Ipswich,
17/11/2012 18:32

I have an excellent idea, sell it to someone for a pound and give them a £100 million for starters.

royston amphlett
,

bournemouth, United Kingdom,
17/11/2012 18:32

Comet should have shut its doors 30 years ago – the place is a dive !!

Matt Sl utton
,

london, United Kingdom,
17/11/2012 18:04

If I buy one store do I get another free?
– Batman, Newport, United Kingdom, 17/11/2012 15:42

Do you really want two ?

dave
,

ramsbottom, United Kingdom,
17/11/2012 18:04

You can just go to Argos Now so it is no big deal that comet is closing down I find Argos is cheaper and better
– Bob, London, United Kingdom, 17/11/2012 14:51
That well maybe the case however after Christmas Argos are closing 75 stores lets hope one of them isn’t yours!! It may not be a big deal to you but it is to many others. Lets hope you are not faced with the same situation if you have a job !!

Kirstycustard
,

Portsmouth, United Kingdom,
17/11/2012 18:00

Comet were always going to fail. They only wanted to sell extended warranties and would hound you to take it out. I got fed up with that attitude so went elsewhere. Remember this those of you who work for other companies you alienate the customer at your peril. No matter how big the company you work for it can fail if the customer goes elsewhere.

Barry
,

Chelmsford,
17/11/2012 17:52

I Just feel so sorry for the employees of Comet, especially near Christmas,
Many must be on just the minimum wage working part time, struggling to pay the bills,
Comet wont be the only ones to go on the High Street either, look out in the early parts of the new year,
With so many people struggling with pay cuts, and unemployment, its going to be a bleak time for many.
I hope they all manage to find decent jobs.

Stormrider
,

Gloucester,
17/11/2012 17:42

Our local store has very little left that is not on display but they are expecting to sell their used goods with only a 10% discount. I would want more than that discounted for a 2nd hand used item that has been messed about by every potential customer that has wished to play with it i.e. laptops, so get real comet !

chris read
,

salisbury,
17/11/2012 17:41

Sadly shopping in so many stores is no longer a happy experience. Assistants often have little knowledge of what they are selling and of necessity there is limited choice. Anyway the genie is out of the bottle. Shops will find it increasingly difficult when we can press a few buttons, get the research, get the variety amd choose delivery. Add to that the cost of fuel to get to the shops first and then possible parking costs plus the hassle and time consumed and it becomes a no brainer. I am sorry for the Comet staff though, it’s all just an ongoing nightmare. I won’t begrudge their benefits. Good luck to you all.

T00ts
,

glos, United Kingdom,
17/11/2012 17:39

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