NEWS
28/11/2012 07:36 GMT | Updated 28/11/2012 07:46 GMT

More Than 3,000 Comet Jobs At Risk As Deloitte Confirms Closure Of 125 Stores

More than 3,000 staff at electricals chain Comet could lose their jobs before Christmas, after administrators Deloitte confirmed 125 stores will close after a lack of firm offers for a takeover.

Just 70 stores will remain open until all remaining stock is sold despite Deloitte confirming it is in talks with a "small number of interested buyers".

Deloitte also plans to close the company's distribution centre in Harlow, Essex, on 30 November and will cut back office functions at Rickmansworth, Hull and Clevedon.

Chris Farrington, joint administrator at Deloitte, told the Press Association that store closures are likely to start next month, but that the process could be delayed if they receive any "acceptable offers" for stores.

Around 5,000 employees work across the 195 Comet stores; staff are to be paid salary, accrued holiday pay, overtime and bonuses for the period covered by the administration.

More than 35 prospective employers are "keen" apparently also keen to offer roles to ex-Comet employees, according to Deloitte.

Huffington Post UK reported on 23 November that two entrepreneurs had thrown their hats into the ring to take over the embattled electricals chain; John Roberts, founder of Appliances Online in 2000, tabled an offer to run it online from his Bolton-based business and a second, mystery Bournemouth-based entrepreneur reportedly offered to buy 140 of the 195 stores outright.

Blogging for Huff Post UK, Roberts said poor customer service was, in part, to blame for Comet's downfall.

"In this day and age, you cannot deliver terrible customer service and expect a customer to return or recommend you. In a recession, bad customer service is simply economic suicide," he wrote.

"If anything, it was the company's poor attitude to its customers, deficient delivery service and inadequate aftersales offers that caused it to go into administration. Good old fashioned customer service needs to be integral to any business whether purchasing in person or through the channels the latest technology offers."