Comet crashes and 180 Sussex jobs are at risk


Tom Groom

Electrical giant Comet is set to go into administration next week and 180 Sussex jobs may be axed.

Stores in Brighton, Hove, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor and other Sussex areas are vulnerable to being chopped.

Administration of the stores will be handled by Deloitte, though they remain open for business in the meantime.

Comet is set to honour the delivery of items already paid for but ‘vouchers have been temporarily suspended,’ according to a Deloitte spokesman.

The business, which deals in supplying electrical equipment, has faced an income crisis due to lack of consumer spending.

It has also struggled since trade insurers cut credit lines to suppliers, meaning the company had to pay for goods upfront.

Retail analyst Jon Copestake said the financial issues should not come as a surprise, ‘Comet has faced deflationary pressures thanks to stiff competition and cheaper production costs.’

‘Core audio-visual products are being undermined by combined platforms on smartphones and tablets.’

French company Kesa used to own the retail chain, before paying OpCapita £50million to take ownership of the company, as it was making heavy losses nine months ago.

Kesa reported full-year operating losses of £16million in its last financial analyses.

Comet’s demise is a major one, parallel to that of Woolworths in 2008 and comes only a month after the collapse of major sports brand JJB.

‘Urgent’ talks are being held by the board and its advisors to ‘seek a solution to secure a viable future for the company,’ according to a spokesman.



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