1. ITV Report

Jobs axed at stricken Comet

Closing down sales are underway at 41 Comet stores across the UK Photo: PA

Thirty-three jobs at electricals chain Comet in Exeter have been axed in the latest round of redundancies.

The firm has gone into administration - one of the biggest high street casualties since Woolworths in 2008.

33 jobs are going from Comet's distribution centre in Exeter Credit: ITV News

A total of 603 jobs have been lost from the company's home delivery network, which operates from 12 hubs across the UK, including one on the Sowton Industrial Estate in Exeter.

The store in Barnstaple is holding a closing down sale Credit: ITV News

Meanwhile, in Barnstaple 12 employees have lost their jobs. The store is one of 41 nationally that's closing its doors before the end of the month.

Deloitte says the delivery network will continue to operate, with a significantly reduced workforce retained to complete deliveries and support the repairs operation.

Deloitte joint administrator Chris Farrington said discussions continued with parties interested in parts of the business but that it was necessary to begin a store closure programme and to scale back the company's support functions.

He added: "While we will continue to do all we can to preserve jobs, we are working hard to put in place comprehensive support to help those employees who are made redundant during the administration."

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.