Administrator set to close more Comet stores as jobs toll rises

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The Independent Online

The administrator to Comet has confirmed that it plans to close a further 125 stores over the coming weeks, which means that most of the failed electricals chain's 6,600 staff will have lost their jobs by Christmas.

Deloitte said the latest batch of closures, accounting for about 2,500 staff, would leave just 70 of Comet's original 236 shops trading until all the remaining stock is sold.

Further cuts are planned at the chain's support functions in Rickmansworth, Hull and Clevedon, in addition to the closure of its distribution in Harlow, Essex, on Friday.

Deloitte remains in discussion with a "small number of interested parties" in buying parts of Comet, but unless a buyer can be found all the retailer's stores will close by 18 December.

Clive Coombes, the property tycoon, has expressed an interest in buying a tranche of the stores.

OpCapita, the private investment firm, and its backers are likely to make millions of pounds from the expected liquidation of Comet, which it acquired for a token £2 in February.