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Two Entrepreneurs Bid To Take Over Failed Retailer Comet

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Two entrepreneurs have tabled bids to administrators Deloitte to take over failed retailer Comet | PA

Embattled retailer Comet could be turned into an online-only venture, if a "seven-figure" bid from an entrepreneur gets the go ahead.

John Roberts, founder of Appliances Online in 2000, has tabled an offer to run the Comet brand online from his Bolton-based business.

However, Roberts, who claimed Comet's poor attitude to its customers had caused its downfall, warned he would only consider it if he bid was deemed successful before too much damage had been done to the brand.

Separately, the Sun reported on today that a second bid has arrived on administrator Deloitte's doormat for 140 of the 195 Comet stores, which could save more than 2,000 jobs.

The "mystery tycoon" is described by the Sun as a property baron from Bournemouth, believed to have links to fridges, freezers and dishwashers distributor Euronics.

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.

A further 57 head office posts in Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, 56 employees from a call centre in Clevedon, and 17 from an office in Hull have also been removed - this from sites which had already suffered 330 redundancies.

The collapse of Comet marks one of the biggest high street casualties since the demise of Woolworths in 2008 and came a month after the failure of JJB Sports.

The group was hit by weak high street trading conditions, competition from online rivals and being unable to secure the trade credit insurance needed to safeguard suppliers.

In particular, it was knocked by the lack of first-time home-buyers, who had been key customers for Comet, according to Deloitte.

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Filed by Charlie Thomas