3000 Comet job losses expected

Administrators for the electrical retail chain Comet has announced 125 store closures, which is expected to trigger around 3,000 job losses. Around 330 jobs have been gone today.

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Comet customers advised on next steps

A Comet employee at the Edinburgh store in 2010. The electricals firm called in administrators Deloitte today. Credit: PA

Comet has said that it is working to fulfil outstanding orders as administrators Deloitte seek a buyer for the electricals firm. People with vouchers for the retailer have been advised to use them immediately.

Dean Dunham, of youandyourrights.co.uk, said: "It is not usual for administrators to honour gift vouchers and they do not normally give refunds for them either."

If Comet is not able to fulfil an order, customers whose purchases are valued between £100 and £30,000 and who paid by credit or debit cards, should be able to claim their money back within 120 days. However, those who paid in any other way have no immediate way of getting their money back.

Comet 'urgently working' on plans to secure firm's future

Comet said it is "urgently working" on plans to secure the company's future and it is expected that administrators will seek a buyer for the business.

Customers with outstanding orders and those with gift cards and vouchers are being told it is "business as usual until further notice" and that the group intends to fulfil deliveries of products that have been paid for.

Comet's customer care team is handling any customer inquiries on 0844 8009595.


OpCapita reveals it invested £35m in Comet

Private investment firm OpCapita, which bought Comet for £2 less than a year ago, said it invested £35 million in the firm, while it also received £50 million from Kesa as part of the original sale.

According to OpCapita, the cash was used to provide capital to keep the business going and the buyout group had planned to revive sales by boosting online business and returning Comet to its roots of value for money deals.

Comet's former parent Kesa reported full-year operating losses for the chain of 20.1 million euro (£16 million) in its last set of financial results.

The high street: A year of casualties

  • January: Clothing retailers Peacocks and Pumpkin Patch collapsed, placing 7,900 in jeopardy. Gift shop Past Times also appointed administrators, resulting in 507 redundancies. The collapse of La Senza triggered 1,300 redundancies and Barratts also called in administrators, cutting 680 jobs
  • March: Game collapsed, triggering 2,104 job losses
  • April: Aquascutum fell into administration but was sold in May, saving 100 jobs
  • May: Clinton Cards fell into administration with 397 of its stores sold on
  • June: Allders called in administrators Duff and Phelps
  • July: Ethel Austin went into administration, risking around 500 jobs. Julian Graves called in administrators, risking more than 700 jobs
  • October: Around 2,200 JJB Sports staff made redundant after administrators were called in
  • November: Comet calls in administrators, putting 6,500 jobs at risk

Retail expert says Comet turnaround was 'too little, too late'

A retail and consumer research expert has told ITV News that Comet was pushed out of a crowded market after failing to mimic its main rival's successful turnaround.

The electricals market has been under severe pressure for a prolonged period of time and overall spending has contracted. This, combined with a resurgent Dixons and the growth of other players like John Lewis and internet specialists, has left Comet without a sufficient point of difference.

Ultimately, there just isn't really room for two chains of electricals specialists with large numbers of stores. Dixons recently turned itself around and secured its survival. Although Comet tried to follow asimilar path over the last year its efforts are too little, too late.

– Neil Saunders, Managing Director of retail research agency Conlumino

Fears for 6,500 jobs as Comet to go into administration

Around 6,500 retail jobs are under threat as electricals chain Comet became the latest casualty on the high street.

The 240-strong chain confirmed plans for it to be placed into administration next week, marking one of the UK's biggest retail failures in recent years.

Staff were told of plans this morning and restructuring specialist Deloitte has been lined up to handle the administration.


Retail charity offers help to Comet workers

The Retail Trust charity, which provides support for retail staff in the UK, has offered to help Comet's 6,000 employees as the firm faces administration.

A statement on the charity's website advised Comet workers to contact the charity's helpline on 0808 801 0808, email helpline@retailtrust.org.uk or text HELPLINE to 88010 for "free, confidential and independent advice and support for all staff affected by such developments."

Comet workers react to threat of firm's collapse

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