More Kent jobs under threat as stricken Comet warns of store closures
Comet's Ashford store is
among those in Kent under threat
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Many more jobs are at risk after administrators of stricken
electricals retailer Comet warned a further 125 stores will close
soon unless a last-minute buyer is found.
Deloitte said the closure process would begin in December and
leave about 70 stores staying open until remaining stock is sold.
Administrators have not yet named the stores under threat.
Kent stores are in Ashford, Aylesford, Rochester, Tunbridge
Wells, Canterbury, Folkestone and Gravesend. The Margate store
closed earlier this month.
Before it collapsed into administration, Comet - which has
been badly hit by online competition and the economic downturn
- had 240 stores and around 6,000 staff.
It was bought for just £2 less than a year ago by private
investment firm OpCapita. But it is thought to have
made losses of £35million.
Further jobs are going in the company's business support
functions at Rickmansworth, Hull and Clevedon.
Administrator Chris Farrington said: "We remain in discussions
with a small number of interested parties and hope that a positive
outcome can still be achieved. Should any acceptable offers be
received for stores we will delay the closure process.
"Unfortunately, in the absence of a firm offer for the whole of
the business, it has become necessary to begin making plans in case
a sale is not concluded.
"If a sale is not possible we would envisage stores to begin
closing in December."
He added the company was helping redundant staff find other
jobs and was working with more than 35 prospective employers
willing to offer roles to ex-Comet employees.
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