Comet store to close down on Monday

Comet's Kettering branch will close on Monday
Comet's Kettering branch will close on Monday

Kettering’s Comet store will have its final day of trading on Monday as hopes fade over a rescue deal for the stricken consumer electronics chain.

More than 50 Comet stores are to trade for their final weekend. Sales offering at least 50 per cent off products, except televisions and laptops, have been launched at 54 stores closing between now and early next week.

They are among the 125 store closures already announced by administrator Deloitte in a move expected to result in around 3,000 retail job losses. The remaining 70 stores are expected to be closed by Christmas unless a buyer can be found.

Comet collapsed into administration last month in what marked one of the biggest high street casualties since the demise of Woolworths in 2008 and followed a month after the failure of JJB Sports.

A number of firms are thought to have put forward potential bids, with Appliances Online confirming it had made an offer for Comet’s website under plans to continue the business exclusively online.

But administrators said last week they had no option but to start closing stores in the absence of a firm offer for the whole of the business.

Around 2,600 jobs have already been axed by administrators, including more than 200 due to the closure of the company’s distribution centre in Harlow, Essex, last Friday.

Comet 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, who had been key customers for Comet.