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UK: Future of Comet brand could be online-only

10:23 23 November 2012

A Comet store

A Comet store

THE entrepreneur behind Appliances Online has tabled a bid for Comet in a move that could see the failed electrical chain disappear from retail parks and high streets.

John Roberts, who set up Appliances Online in 2000, confirmed he had put in a “seven-figure offer” for Comet’s website after it collapsed into administration earlier this month.

However, he said any deal would depend on whether he could rescue the Comet brand before too much damage was done through the administration process.

Administrator Deloitte is also understood to have received a bid for 140 of the 195 Comet stores, which could save more than 2,000 jobs.

Deloitte said it had been in discussions with a number of interested parties over different parts of the Comet business.

Some 1,500 posts at the collapsed electricals chain have already been axed, including 603 home delivery network jobs on Monday.

A further 57 head office posts at Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, 56 jobs at a call centre in Clevedon, and 17 from an office in Hull also went this week, on top of 330 redundancies at the sites last week.

Deloitte has also announced that at least 27 Comet stores, including the Bury St Edmunds branch where 11 people are currently employed, will close by the end of November unless a buyer is found, with 14 more also at risk of imminent closure.

Comet has been hit by weak consumer demand, competition from online rivals and being unable to secure the trade credit insurance needed to safeguard suppliers.

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The Teapot at Mcginty's Ipswich. Junk Food cafe run by Mischa Pearson and voulnteers.
Pictured Sarah sharlott, kath gosling, mischa Pearson, Adam Ferguson, Anna engstrom

An award-winning pay-what-you-feel cafe which supports dozens of homeless and vulnerable people in Ipswich has been given just three weeks to find a new base.

Former Seven Resourcing apprentices with Ben Gummer MP, from left, Elliot Frost, Mike Wright, Jade Nunn, Jesse Miller, Ben Gummer and George Owen.

Ipswich-based specialist recruitment agency Seven Resourcing has hosted a visit from the town’s MP, Ben Gummer, to showcase the success of its apprenticeship scheme.

Spending on Eating Out remained robust during April, according to a survey carried out for Greene King.

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Meeting organised by the Institute of Directors about Suffolks burgeoning film industry. Julien Mery, co-founder of Livid Films and director of Film Suffolk, discussed how the creative community in Suffolk is putting the county on the UK and worlds creative industry map. L-R Sarah Brown, Graham Kill, Julien Mery and Old Jet's Jesse Quin.

A group of executives got to see the creative side of Suffolk’s economy at one of the county’s most popular filmmaking locations.

Oliver Paul, owner of the Suffolk Food Hall, DEFRA Secretary Liz Truss, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Babergh District Councillor Jennie Jenkins meet for an informal meeting on the outcome of the RDPE funding provided for the commercial artisan kitchens in the Cookhouse at the Suffolk Food Hall.

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