Monday, November 19, 2012
A CLOSING down sale is beginning at Bury St Edmunds Comet store as the joint administrators of the collapsed electrical retail chain continue to seek a buyer.
Administrators from Deloitte confirmed plans on Saturday to close 41 Comet stores, including the Bury St Edmunds store, where 11 staff are employed, by the end of November, unless a buyer can be found for the business in the meantime.
A closing down sale with increased discounts began in 27 stores on Saturday and will begin in a further 14 stores early this week, they said.
More generous discounts will also be applied to products across all of the other 195 Comet stores, which continue to trade as usual. Administrators said they will look to redeploy staff from any stores which do face closure to other stores nearby, but there will inevitably be redundancies. Comet also has stores at Ipswich, where 24 staff are employed, and Colchester, where there are 20 employees.
A dedicated employee helpline has been set up and the company is running an Employee Assistance Programme to help those staff made redundant find other jobs.
“The administrators continue to hold discussions with parties who have expressed interest in parts of the business. Regrettably, however, it is necessary to begin a store closure programme and an employee consultation process is under way,” Deloitte said.
Joint administrator Chris Farrington said: “We are very grateful to the company’s employees for their professionalism, loyalty and support at this difficult time and all employees will of course continue to be paid for all the work they do while the company is in administration.”
Neville Kahn, Nick Edwards and Chris Farrington of Deloitte were appointed joint administrators to Comet on Friday, November 2.
The 240-strong chain confirmed plans for it to be placed into administration earlier this month, marking one of the UK’s biggest retail failures in recent years and putting around 6,500 retail jobs under threat.