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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