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Comet's demise must be "thoroughly investigated"

The last of the remaining Comet stores has now closed down as it emerged that events surrounding the chain's collapse are being examined by the Insolvency Service. The dramatic collapse of the company founded in Hull has cost almost seven thousand jobs.

The Government's facing a bill topping £50 million pounds in redundancy costs and tax which the firm had insufficient funds to pay. Business Secretary Vince Cable MP says a "thorough investigation" is needed.

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Final day for remaining Comet stores

Comet electrical stroe
Comet electrical store Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Comet's last remaining stores will trade for the final time as the high street spending slump claims another high-profile casualty. The closure of the final group of 49 stores from the former 235-strong estate comes seven weeks after Deloitte was appointed administrator.

The collapse of the firm, founded in Hull in 1933 and which employed around 6,895 people at the time of its collapse, is one of the biggest high street failures since the demise of Woolworths in 2008.

Deloitte has so far failed to find a buyer for the company or any of its shops and in a report said it remains in talks with a small number of parties including over the sale of internet operations and the brand.

With insufficient funds raised from the winding down of the chain, it will fall to the Government's Redundancy Payments Service to meet £23.2 million of outstanding redundancy pay, accrued holiday pay and pay in lieu of notice.

700 jobs to go at Comet

More than 700 jobs at stricken electricals chain Comet were today axed in the latest round of redundancies. The jobs are to go at 12 distribution "hubs" - and include 41 posts in Leeds.

Seventeen office jobs are also to go in Hull. Stores in Leeds and Sheffield have ceased trading today and administrators have announced that the one in Halifax is also to close.

Three Comet stores face closure in our region

Three branches of Comet in our region could close by the end of November. The chain's administrators have confirmed plans to shut 41 branches across the country unless a buyer comes forward to buy the business. Stores in Halifax, Leeds (Crown Point) and Sheffield (Drake House) are on the list.

Closing down sales have started in the majority of shops facing closure and increased discounts will be offered in all those stores by early next week. Stock is also being discounted in the remaining 195 shops.

Administrators say they will look to redeploy staff from stores which close but admit redundancies are inevitable.

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.

– Chris Farrington, Joint Administrator.

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Comet faces closures

Stricken retail chain Comet is preparing to close between 30 and 40 stores by the end of the month, according to reports. Administrators have so far announced 330 redundancies at the company but there have been no job losses among shop staff and all the chain's 236 stores are open.

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

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