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Up to 3000 jobs at risk as Comet announce closure of a further 125 stores

Darty have vowed to eliminate losses at its non-core operations. Picture: PA

Darty have vowed to eliminate losses at its non-core operations. Picture: PA

ADMINISTRATORS at electricals chain Comet announced the closure of a further 125 stores today.

• The remaining 70 stores will only stay open until all stock is sold

• Closures are likely to start next month, with up to 3000 jobs at risk

• Employees are to be paid salary, accrued holiday pay, overtime and bonuses for the period

Deloitte has said that the remaining 70 Comet stores will only remain open until all stock was sold. There have been a “small number” of interested buyers, but Deloitte confirmed that it is necessary to begin shutting shops unless there is a firm offer for the whole business.

Plans to close the company’s distribition centre in Esssex are also in place.

3,000 jobs are expected to be affected by the decision to close. Comet currently employs 5,000 workers across 195 stores.

Chris Farrington, joint administrator at Deloitte, said that store closures are likely to start next month. He said that if any “acceptable offers” are received then the process will be delayed.

All comet staff will be paid salary, accrued holiday pay, overtime and bonuses for the period, and Deloitte have already contacted more than 35 prospective employers who are “keen” to offer positions to ex-Comet staff.

The closure comes as the chain 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.

John Roberts, who set up Appliances Online in 2000, said he had offered a “seven-figure sum” for Comet’s website, as they hope to run the Comet brand online. Mr. Roberts is hoping for a quick sale of the business.

 

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