UPDATE: Comet is placed in administration, stock clearance starts today

8 Nov 2012

Update 08.11.12

Comet is holding a clearance sale starting today as administrators continue to try and find a buyer for the struggling electrical retail chain.

Offers are only available in store while stocks last, with our Forum users reporting discounts of around 10-20%. A spokesman for administrator Deloitte told Yahoo Finance: "The discounts are gentle. It's not a hard sale."

Check out your local store for details.

Published 03.11.12

Accountancy firm Deloitte was officially appointed administrator to Comet last night and is urgently trying to find a buyer for the chain, which has 236 UK stores.

Comet's website and stores were closed yesterday as the retailer checked its remaining stock, briefed staff and prepared for a fire sale of stock in an attempt to raise cash.

A statement on the company's website says "Comet sale starting soon".

Deloitte "temporarily suspended" Comet gift cards and vouchers last night while it assesses the situation. Although 6,600 jobs could be at risk, Deloitte says it intends to keep stores trading during the administration and isn't planning redundancies.

Published 01.11.12

Electrical retailer Comet has confirmed it will be placed in administration, with the possible loss of up to 200 jobs at its Hull HQ. The firm's website is currently offline.

Staff were informed of the plan at a meeting earlier today. Comet says it is "urgently working" on plans to secure the company's future and it is hoped a buyer for the chain will be found.

With losses estimated at around £35m for the year to April 30th, Comet has struggled in a tough market against supermarkets and online retailers such as Amazon.

French company Kesa paid Comet's current owner OpCapita £50m to take the loss-making chain off its hands last year. OpCapita paid a token £2 for the chain.

Today's Guardian reports that Comet faced a cash crunch after trade insurers cut credit lines to suppliers, forcing them to ask for payment for goods upfront.

Comet has 236 UK stores, which employ around 6500 people. They are expected to remain open for business until the crisis is resolved.

It's another sign of just how cut-throat the market for electrical goods has become during the recession. Last year Best Buy crashed out of the UK market after failing to stem mounting losses, and despite a high-profile launch.

Follow whathifi.com on Twitter

Join whathifi.com on Facebook

 

  • Digg

Comments

DrF.mbe hits it nice & low here.

Afterall,he trys to avoid pandering to feelings of guilt regarding buying anything,he leaves those feelings for his wife. What a loyal hubby,isn't he so generous with peoples feelings,he gets a kick outa comet workers getting laid off 5wks before christmas,what a trooper eh? 110% on the ball there,OneBoxSystem,well put.

COMET: Good riddance!!

 

In the eary early 1970's when Comet was in it's infancy and thier stores were little more than large sheds, I bought an item from them. When I got it home what was in the box was not what I wanted! They would not give me a refund. I threatened them with legal action which did the trick. In August 2012 I bought a t.v from them, after our old but very reliable Sony finally packed in. The L.G was in a sale and marked as ex-display. At home I found it had a black line down the middle of the screen and large patches of the picture were blurred. We took it back the next morning. They refused to refund and co-erced us into spending more on another t.v (a Toshiba). It broke down totally just 9 weeks later. We boxed it up and took it back. The manager was blunt and rude. He refused a refund. In fact he/they did not even want to know what the problem was and they didnt even want to look at the boxed t.v. They refused to allow us to call Toshiba and said we had to go home to do that. Outside as were getting back into our car we started talking to two women standing outside. They said they had just been in the store to look at P.Cs. However, they were  amazed and disgusted when the man they were talking just waked off when they said they were interested in a cheaper P.C than the one he was pushing for them to buy. At that time the store appeared to be devoid of any other customers. At home we spoke to Toshiba who were very sympathetic and said they did not know why Comet reused to take the broken t.v back and refund us, as Comet could then send the t.v to them for repir/refurbishment and they would not lose any money. After contacting Trading Standards we went through the formal steps to try to get Comet to refund us. They never responded. Then they went into receivership and our effort to take legal action was all lost. The t.v is now been taken away for repair. We can ill afford to lose that sort of money and our first foray into flat screen H.D t.v has been disastrous!

Comet should be an example of what not to do. The only way high street retailers can compete with internet businesses is by offering exceptional customer services, giving one to one, face to face advice and service, and by offering extended warranties. A prime example of this is John Lewis. People will pay etra to buy from John Lewis (and Waitrose) is because of the better shopping experience and the far superior customer service. John lewis also offer 5 year warranties on electrical items, compared to the miserable, small print limited warranty offred by the likes of Comet. The owners of Comet should have got a grip on this. The fact that they didnt, demonstrated just how business incompetent some businesses actually are!!  

I had a look around our local branch on Saturday and struggled to find anything marked down by more than 10%.

Given that Comet tend to be about 20% more expensive than their on-line competitors anyway, this can hardly be called a "Stock Clearance".

They have always relied on the fact that a percentage of the buying public have always opted for convenience and proximity over price as a deciding factor, but then they killed that by moving away from the town centres and giving poor customer service.....

I feel sorry for the staff but the company itself has no-one to blame but themselves and I for one won't miss them. I can't actually remember the last thing I bought from them anyway.

personally i have never been a fan of comet.

The majority of the stores were run by people with no AV knoledge and with little respect for people who brought items back to be refunded

comet used to use the phrase we need to send it back to the manafacture first before we can make a refund or exchange,such rubbish

i am not suprised the stores are to be closed with the very bad Customer service they had

i feel sorry for people to become redundant at such a time of year,but personally the store did not seem to place those staff in the correct sections on what they were trained or not trained to sell to the general public.

 

From Money Saving Expert -

Update, 6 Nov, 9pm: Administrator Deloitte says Comet is now accepting gift cards, after originally saying no, except for those issued by corporate customers such as insurers. However, you should still use them ASAP. Comet also intends to fulfil orders "where the item is in stock". If unavailable, it has dodged the issue of whether customers will be refunded, instead stating those who have paid by credit card "may be eligible for a refund from their card provider". We are seeking clarification.

I'm sorry, but I've got more empathy and humanity in my little finger. Reported again.

 

A 30% saving at Comet would not float my boat.

Amex is for fools and pimps.

I was never a lover of the vt60, I much prefer my projector.

As for retail conflict, I try to avoid making purchases that pander to feelings of guilt.

I generally leave that to the wife.

Lack of humanity..hmm  you seen to have little perception of what humanity actually constitutes.

 

[Edited by mods - please avoid personal abuse, it's against the House Rules]

 

DrF.mbe. I'll you add you to the list of callous people then. A real lack of humanity there. Reported as offensive.

Thanks Jacob. Well said.

DrF.mbe

Your sadness generally for the people who will be getting a P45 so close to Christmas positively drips from the page. I'm presuming you had a particularly bad experience shopping at Comet and vowed never to shop there again, until the lure of a 30% saving draws you back? The conflict on your face as you hand over your Amex card for the last VT60 would be worth seeing. 

I always found Comet customer service to be devoid of any humanity, so I for one am not surprised or remotely concerned about the plight of the company, you can only treat your customers like plebs for so long.

And for oneboxsystem having a go at the comment of simonlewis, what the hell planet are you on?

What is wrong with asking if any bargains are looming, this is a RETAIL related topic?

COMET is (a badly performing) electrical retailer that sells electrical products, it is not in the business of providing childless couples the chance of a new beginning etc.  

[EDITED BY MODS - no personal abuse please as per House Rules.]

I have sadness generally for the people who will be getting a P45 so close to Christmas, but there are hundreds of thousands this year that have unfortunately suffered the same fate.

We are in a massive global recession the like of which has never been seen post war, it is not something that has just been dropped on us all overnight, it has been apparent for some years and it is something that virtually every Man, Woman and Child in the UK is feeling right now and will continue to feel for many, many years to come.

What better time of year to have a FIRE sale. When its cold outside and you cannot afford the heating, welcome to Britain, enjoy your stay.

 

simonlewis that is the most callous remark I've seen. It may be but no need to rub it in for the potential 6600 people who may lose their jobs. You should be ashamed.

Is this a good time to pick up a bargain ???

Thoughts are with the 6000. Worst time of year for it to happen, not that there is ever a good time.

website and laskys has been taken off it is still business as usual instores and yes it is hard but in our store we pull together .I work for the company and we only found out this morning i saw it on sky news at 2345 last night and knew nothing.

Well just tried their website and got  Sorry Comet.co.uk is currently unavailable.

Interesting, timimg or has it been pulled already?

I hope your warranty is ring-fenced.

Indeed they now do face administration for certain, it seems.