Twenty jobs go in Sussex as Comet stores shut

The Hove branch of Comet

The Hove branch of Comet

First published in News by

More than 20 Sussex jobs were lost at Comet yesterday (November 19) as administrators revealed they were to shut two of the county’s stores.

Comet confirmed it is to bring down the shutters at the shops in Lewes Road, Brighton, and in Crawley.

Closing down sales have begun at the stores and administrators said “aggressive discounts” will be applied to the remaining five outlets in the county in Hove, Bognor, Eastbourne, Worthing and Bexhill.

More jobs could be lost at the remaining stores if a buyer cannot be found for them.

Rival electronics chains Dixons and Maplin are among firms who have expressed interest in taking over a handful of Comet stores, but hopes of finding a buyer for the entire company are fading.

The troubles at Comet emerged a year after former parent Kesa Electrical offloaded the business to VC OP Capita along with a £50 million dowry.

Comet made a £12.7 million loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up to the end of September after being bought by OpCapita and sales were down 7.5p%.

Collapse This performance was in line with the targets set by Comet management and meant the retailer was on course to break even for the full year.

Deloitte was called in to work with Comet at the start of this month.

At the time Deloitte said it did not plan to close any of the stores or lay off staff as talks with interested parties continued.

But suppliers, who were forced to trade with Comet without credit insurance, demanded cash with orders and cash flow at the retailer dried up.

The collapse of Comet marks one of the biggest high street casualties since the demise of Woolworths in 2008. It comes a month after the failure in Sussex of JBB Sports, Clinton Cards, Blacks Leisure, Game and Peacocks.

Deloitte joint administrator Chris Farrington said: “We are very grateful to the company's employees for their professionalism, loyalty and support at this difficult time.

“All employees will of course continue to be paid for all the work they do while the company is in administration."

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Comments (7)

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11:12am Tue 20 Nov 12

jamus77 says...

Strange they haven't pulled the plug on the store at Teville Gate in Worthing, given that site is earmarked for imminent demolition and redevelopment...?
Strange they haven't pulled the plug on the store at Teville Gate in Worthing, given that site is earmarked for imminent demolition and redevelopment...? jamus77
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Tue 20 Nov 12

paulbton says...

I feel of the staff just before Christmas and hope they find jobs soon. I also hope the units don't stay empty for long, get new business in and new jobs will follow.
I feel of the staff just before Christmas and hope they find jobs soon. I also hope the units don't stay empty for long, get new business in and new jobs will follow. paulbton
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Tue 20 Nov 12

paulbton says...

I feel of the staff just before Christmas and hope they find jobs soon. I also hope the units don't stay empty for long, get new business in and new jobs will follow.
I feel of the staff just before Christmas and hope they find jobs soon. I also hope the units don't stay empty for long, get new business in and new jobs will follow. paulbton
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Fight_Back says...

I feel desperately sorry for the people losing their jobs but as an Albion supporter I'd rather Comet had closed the Hove branch than the Lewes Road branch.
I feel desperately sorry for the people losing their jobs but as an Albion supporter I'd rather Comet had closed the Hove branch than the Lewes Road branch. Fight_Back
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Hoarder12345444 says...

It is sad for sure, but when you have the likes of Asda and Tesco competing in the same market it was always inevitable. Doesnt seem as bad as first thought. I always thought Comet was over priced. I am sure there are jobs out there for them. Good luck to the people.
It is sad for sure, but when you have the likes of Asda and Tesco competing in the same market it was always inevitable. Doesnt seem as bad as first thought. I always thought Comet was over priced. I am sure there are jobs out there for them. Good luck to the people. Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Tue 20 Nov 12

martyt says...

lets be honest who will be buying goods from a retail that s gone bust ,with no come back on what you brought ?
lets be honest who will be buying goods from a retail that s gone bust ,with no come back on what you brought ? martyt
  • Score: 0

5:58am Wed 21 Nov 12

boo2005 says...

well usually 'martyt', if the price is right, people will take a chance on the goods.
well usually 'martyt', if the price is right, people will take a chance on the goods. boo2005
  • Score: 0

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