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Dozens of jobs axed at stricken Comet's Maidstone delivery hub

Comet in Ashford retail park

Comet, which has stores across Kent including this one in Ashford, was plunged into administration earlier this month

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

More than 60 jobs are to go at Comet's delivery hub in Kent.

Administrators for the collapsed electricals retailer announced this afternoon a further 735 jobs are going in the company's head office, central functions and home delivery network.

A total of 603 jobs have been axed across the network's 12 hubs - including 64 in Maidstone. Shocked staff were told the grim news earlier today.

However, administrators at Deloitte say the hubs will continue to operate with a significantly reduced workforce to complete deliveries and continue to support the repairs operation.

So far, no jobs have been lost in stores, although many are at risk if a buyer cannot be found for the 27 stores earmarked for closure by the end of the month - including at Thanet Retail Park, in Broadstairs.

A further 14 stores might be identified for closure unless a buyer can be found or landlords agree to new terms. Administrators have warned of inevitable redundancies among the 869 full- and part-time employees at these 41 stores.

The remaining 195 stores are offering deeper discounts as administrators continue to seek a buyer.

Joint administrator Chris Farrington said: "Discussions continue to take place with parties who have expressed interest in parts of the business.

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below"However, it is unfortunately necessary to begin a store closure programme and to scale back the company’s support functions.

"While we will continue to do all we can to preserve jobs, we are working hard to put in place comprehensive support to help those employees who are made redundant during the administration.

"This support includes connecting people to prospective employers who are keen to offer roles to ex-Comet staff, and providing assistance and workshops to help with job hunting skills, such as CV and cover letter writing and interview skills, to enhance their chances of securing new employment."

Comet - founded in the 1960s and recently bought by equity investor OpCapital - struggled in the new era of internet competition and was also hit by the overall decline in electrical purchases as consumers tightened their belts in tough economic times.

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