Electrical chain Comet has confirmed that it will go into administration next week, putting some 6,500 retail jobs at risk.
Staff were told this morning of the failure of the company, which comes just one year after the 240-store business was taken over by private equity firm OpCapita, which bought the chain from Kesa Electricals for a token £2. Press reports suggest that OpCapita had been unable to secure trade credit insurance to safeguard its suppliers.
Deloitte will reportedly be acting as administrator for the company, which sells small appliances along with white goods and other large electrical goods. Deloitte will run the business as a going concern while it looks at options for sales, stores closures and liquidation.
Comet customers who have outstanding orders have been told that the company will fulfil deliveries of products that have been paid for.
Market commentators put Comet’s problems down to a combination of lack of demand for big-ticket items, competition from the internet and a failure to embrace multi-channel retailing.
As news of the administration was released, Comet rivals PC World and Dixons Retail – Currys parent – saw their shares leap 15%.