All Comet stores to be closed by Christmas

By: Janey Davies on Dec 8, 2012.

There are now only four Comet stores trading in Wales as eight of the remaining twelve held their final sales this weekend. Closing down sales have already begun in many Comet stores throughout the UK and it is believed that 51 jobs will finish at the Comet delivery depot in Chepstow. The eight stores in Wales that are closing this weekend are part of 54 outlets nationally that will shut by Monday following the collapse of the firm. The Bangor store closes on Sunday, followed on Monday by Cardiff Valegate, Cwmbran, Haverfordwest, Llandudno, Llanelli, Llantrisant and Merthyr.

There are now only around 74 Comet stores trading in the UK – including the four in Wales, and it is believed that a buyer will not be found, so a statement on the Comet website has announced that all stores will close by December 13, in other words, by Christmas. On Tuesday, there will be only four Comet stores open in Wales – at Bridgend, Cardiff Newport Road, Newport and Swansea. The administrators for Comet, Deloitte, said it was in talks with a small number of potential buyers for the electrical firm, but the head of a firm wanting to buy its website last month told the BBC he did not believe Comet would be trading by Christmas, and it  looks like he was right.

John Roberts, boss of Appliances Online, said he had made an offer of millions of pounds for the chain’s brand and website. Comet had, at its peak of trading, some 236 stores operating in the UK but closures last month forced 125 to shut. More than 1,000 employees lost their jobs out of a total of around 6,611. They were given redundancy just before Christmas but many were dissatisfied with the short notice they were given.

Reports suggest more than 3,000 jobs are affected by the latest round of closures. Comet has been hit hard during the double dip recession as many of its customers are typically first time home buyers and consumer spending in the UK since 2008 has dropped, particularly in the larger items that Comet sells. According to Deloitte, their business has been hurt by the much tighter conditions in the UK mortgage market. Comet had been pushed to the brink by a cash drain caused by suppliers who had been unwilling to provide credit to Comet. Without such credit, Comet was unable to stock-up for Christmas.

A spokesperson for Deloitte said: “The inability to obtain supplier credit for the peak Christmas trading period means that the company had no realistic prospect of raising further capital to build up sufficient stock to allow it to continue trading.”

Comet gift cards and vouchers are still valid while the store is still trading but our advice is to hurry up and use them.

If you want to snag an electrical bargain, Comet are offering some great deals at the moment but remember, you will not have a High Street store to return them to, should a fault occur. Discounts include:

  • 30% off all freestanding washing machines, dryers & dishwashers
  • 40% off all cookers
  • 30% off all cameras & camcorders
  • 30% off all small TVs (up to 27″)
  • 50% off all ovens, hobs hoods & splashbacks
  • 50% off all integrated kitchen appliances
  • 30% off all small kitchen appliances & microwaves
  • 50% off all headphones
  • 60% off all accessories & leads

Visit Comet to find out when your local store is closing.

Source: BBC News

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