Financial News

  • 12 November 2012, 12:41

Comet Collapse: Over 300 Staff Made Redundant

More than 300 staff have been made redundant at stricken electricals retail chain Comet.

Administrator Deloitte announced 330 job losses across Comet's head office and support centres.

But it stressed there had been no redundancies among shop staff and said all Comet's 236 stores would remain open.

The bulk of the staff cuts have been made in Comet's head office, at a call centre in Somerset and at a site in Hull.

Deloitte added it was holding talks with a number of potential buyers for Comet, which went into administration a week ago.

The firm's collapse has given a huge boost to many of its rivals.

John Lewis saw sales shoot up by over 17% over the seven days to November 3, when compared with the same period last year.

The department store said a number of factors helped drive the increase, including the "likely demise" of Comet.

"The later half term across much of the country undoubtedly helped drive footfall into the shops, as did the distinctly autumnal weather," it said in a statement.

"Beyond that, new product launches in technology, a competitor's 'extravaganza', and the sad news of another's likely demise undoubtedly combined to provide a lively end to the week."

Sales of electricals were particularly strong, it said, with the number of large appliances sold at its second-highest level to date.

A week ago, Comet called in administrators Deloitte who are attempting to wind down the business.

It launched a "massive" liquidation sale on Thursday, but many customers were left disappointed by the level of discount.

On Friday, Matt Bodell tweeted: "FYI anyone thinking of going Comet for the liquidation/clearance sale. Don't bother its like 10% off. Hold out for the prices to drop in 2wks (sic)."

And Graeme Chapman added: "Sad it may be about Comet but their going out of business sale isn't much of a sale."

Other shoppers were more successful, with Rachael Imison tweeting: "Awesome bargains to be had in comet!! Bought myself a little Christmas present."

Dixons - the UK's largest electricals retailer - has also benefited from its rival's demise.

The chain, which owns Currys and PC World, has seen its share price jump since speculation about Comet going into administration began on November 1.

Between October 31 and November 8, shares in Dixons Retail rose almost 20% to 24.7p, peaking at a 22-month high of 25.8p the day after the rumours began.

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