Deathwatch: Administration for Comet?

31 October 2012

retail deathwatch Crikey – here’s one we didn’t see coming. The FT are reporting that Comet are on the brink of administration, with the deed possibly being done of Thursday morning, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.

Comet has been bumping along for a few years now but when the company was bought up by private investment firm OpCapita for £2 less than a year ago and it looked as things might pick up.

The FT is reporting that Comet has fallen foul of a ‘cash crunch’ as the festive season approaches, partly due to supplier terms becoming tougher as the company was operating without the safety net of credit insurance.

If indeed Comet does go into administration (with Deloitte tipped to get the job), it remains to be seen if some or all of the business will be snapped up by another retailer. Maybe Best Buy will come back for another go. Maybe John Browett will buy them with his pay-off from Apple. MAYBE BITTERWALLET WILL BRANCH OUT INTO ELECTRICAL RETAILING. EH? EH???


TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Boomshaw
    Let's be honest, it's only a matter of time...
  • chadd
    this is why dixons are suscessfull and comet are not !! comet are just poor customer service!! dixons has come on leaps and bounds in the last 5 years !
  • Rich
    Hopefully I can pickup my TV tomorrow that I reserved this evening
  • Liam
    I'll pay OpCapita £3 so they make a profit on their £2 purchase.
  • Zeddy
    I think BW should just stick to what they are not very good at.
  • ramshackle
    i know this is bitterwallet and we hate everything but please spare a thought for those SIX THOUSAND people about to become unemployed. imagine how much thats going to affect the rest of us, tax wise as we pay for their benefits now. the ratio of jobs to unemployment is already ridiculous. who's to blame? them for shoddy service? us for going online and buying cheaper from stores with no overheads? the fat cats at Kesa who rammed targets down the throats of the sales staff, causing a mass flock to no pressure places like the supermarkets and john lewis chain?
  • colins m.
    shareholders are the cause
  • Commet v.
    So why do people flock to John Lewis and Amazon - why because they have a far superior customer experience, its simple to see why even though you pay more at the two stores above, mayvbe its because but they don't screw you over when something goes wrong , ala Comet, the warranties are considerably better, and your not made to feel like a tw^at when you complain that the item you purchased which is clearly still under warranty is faulty and you would like it resolved. Oh product knowledge - my kids know more about computers , TV's and probably fridges and cookers than these fecking clowns.
  • ramshackle
    if john lewis are so great, why do they only have 40 stores? when comet go, john lewis will not benefit due to their snooty staff and high prices. But Argos and DSG will both do fine, Dixons shares are already up! Fuck John Lewis and their pompous middle class customers
  • Mr C.
    John Lewis do have nice Jelly Babies though...better than bassetts!
  • badger
    Prices higher at Amazon, Commet vomit? Really? Are you sure? Or did you just fancy giving your complete ignorance of the subject a national audience?
  • nexus l.
    So just how long has John Lewis been around you bell end another reason I wont set foot in a place like comet its full of idiotic tools like ramshackled - who care more about saving a few quid than buying from a company that doesn't f^ck you over a barrel when things go wrong with a product - enjoy your poundland dinner knuckle dragger ! Showing your inferiority complex again re the middle class jibe - now back down the pit you grubby little man !
  • Badger b.
    Prices higher at Amazon, Commet vomit? yes marginally based on my experience - of which i dont have an issue with Really? Are you sure? Or did you just fancy giving your complete ignorance of the subject a national audience? what ignorance - please explain how you come to this conclusion ! I don't have an issue with higher prices within reason - when you get a better experience - it was based on my many purchased from both stores its not ignorance or are you jumping to the deference of DSG etc. Brain gear speak dear badger
  • Who s.
    Comet are just so 90's , never really pushed their website, every sales people all over you like a bad rash(although I know that's the managements fault) who would set a foot in there....
  • Mustapha S.
    Trouble is with comet, they're located in the same industrial park (at least in Derby) as currys, and argos. Laptops and electronics cheaper next door so other than fridges/freezers, which I look at in store, and find them 30%+ cheaper online, ask them if they can move on price, but no, they don't have anything going for them. Wasn't expecting a match, but something like 10% would have been nice. Perhaps if they weren't so greedy, seems to be the downfall of most chains nowadays, its either 30% profit line or nothing.
  • Boomshaw
    People on this place have no heart. Would love to see these individuals walk into a comet store and says this stuff to the faces of people who could lose their job. Now that would be class lol
  • Who s.
    So boomshaw keyboard warrior's over to you .....fuckwit
  • Cooking B.
    Maybe they would have survived if they didn't try to rip off any poor unsuspecting mug that walked through their front doors with overpriced warranties or monster cables, and concentrated more on providing first class customer service. This of course was the fault of the company and not the staff that worked there...many of whom are long serving and have been with Comet through thick and thin. I wonder what happened to the £50m dowry that was received from Kesa as part of the takeover...Bet thats safe and sound in a Swiss bank account now earning nice interest for somebody. Doesn't look like that was ever re-invested into the business with the amount of cutbacks that were made in the stores in recent months.
  • Ramed s.
    I decided to go and check out the place rammed whilst shackled spends his Sundays and went into a Comet during lunch - Two simple requests i.) A case for a non apple but popular fondle tablet - of which the lad would not take it out of the packet, you basically couldn't see it properly - £30 - tried to fob me off with a kindle cover, which clearly is too small. ii.) A micro usb (micro- A) to a standard USB female ) - or OTG A - cable , he took me to the micro hdmi leads, then a mini usb. Based on the number of people who walked out whilst I was there, its no surprise its up the creek without a paddle. need I say any more ?
  • Gabriella
    It is wrong that OpCapita purchased Comet for £2 and got a £50m dowry and then 10 months later puts Comet in to administration. Whilst Comet are not fab at their job there is a place for them on the high street. Not everyone wants to buy from the internet. I don't think this is the last of the administrations in retail and think next year there will be more unfortunately it looks like until we have a change of government now the economy isn't going to recover at all. That's the reality of it.
  • Rich
    Those [email protected]@rds over at Currys have put their prices up accordingly...did I say [email protected]@rds!!
  • RetailGuru
    Rich - Absolutely nothing to do with their advertised sale ending on this date then?
  • Monkey T.
    It would seem the problem is circumstance; Comet, like a lot of major retailers, have expensive stores to run, heat and staff and shareholders to please. They also happen to stock goods that are easily comparable on price and easy to order online. They just haven't managed to work out a way to keep profitable in the face of the current situation and to give themselves that USP to keep people coming to them. The management should have concentrated on whatever it took to get people through the doors, on their website and ordering their items and have failed their staff, customers and shareholders in the process.
  • Ramed s.
    Monkey tennis bang on - most consumers want to know they wont be left up sheeit creek if it goes wrong, am I wrong if you are treated fairly by a company you will use them again - despite if it cost a little more - Comet has fostered a "your on your fecking own mate " when it goes wrong - don't believe me google the issue re warranty purchase form manufacturers - selling you extra product warranty you don't need, I love a bargain as much as any one, but I want a supplier that doesn't take a massive dump on me when I get an issue - my ebbing life force is worth more !
  • chools
    Shame. The nearest store was handy to go and look at goods before I bought them cheaper on-line
  • Boomshaw
    @Who gives a shit cry some more....
  • klingelton
    Another hole opens for bricks and mortar amazon stores.
  • Darren
    I disagree, for large goods I think comet are really good and am disappointed to see them go, I purchased a washing machine, fridge, freezer & dishwasher from them all in the last month (as I just purchased my first house) and got great customer service every time! they were much cheaper than curry's and when it comes to large items I prefer to just collect the item my self!
  • Lemax
    I sat through a 20 miles a twenty minute sales pitch about their extended warranty whilst I was waiting for them to get my TV from out the back. I heard some truly shocking inaccuracies, half-truths and out and out lies regarding screen burn, pixel burn and "lost panel luminance", that was very common, but not covered by the warranty. They could cover me for against these eventualities for what transpired to be only 40% of the TV purchase price.
  • Lemax
    20 mins, not 20 miles. Where is the edit button?
  • Fox s.
    Just another part of the shift to the cashless society. Once the real world shops have gone and there is no longer a chance to see the build quality of the goods before purchase the appliance and brown good market will drop off to form a monopoply for those names the public recognise. When this happens and the smaller or newer makers die off expect the big players to take the piss by charging what they feel like and there won't be a damn thing you can do about it. Just look at Apple playing bully boy since their conscious died.
  • COMET S.
    I have worked for Comet for over 20 years. And would like to thank all my loyal customers for there custom. I wish them all the best for the future. BUT FOR ALL THE HEARTLESS PEOPLE OUT THERE, just think about the 6611 people who could lose their jobs and possibly their homes. I have been approached by Currys to work there, but could not lower myself to work for the enemy lol. COMET R.I.P.
  • Gutted
    Just spoken to a friend of mine who works for Comet. He's been spat at, punched twice and had a screwdriver held to his head today. Well done great british public, you must be proud of yourselves. Your tv might not be working, but these guys are looking at losing their jobs just before christmas. How about some empathy instead of trying to grab that ultimate bargin at the expense of others?
  • Gabriella C.
    I think it's a done deal that Comet will be liquidated. I am not surprised as OpCapita have a reputation for buying distressed retailer's, taking the dowry and then putting it in to administration. I feel sorry for the staff I really do because it's immoral and wrong what is being done to them, but at the end of the day, I feel worried for Game staff too. The same company owns them and it's a matter of time before they go the same way. Comet were OK , I think it's just the recession/depression, changing shopping market with the rise of the internet, the customer service and extended warranty thing that has done them. I personally have never had problems with them, it's just a great shame that an 80 year old company that was purchased originally by Woolworths in the UK along with Superdrug and B and Q will now go in to the history books too. This won't be the last administration. This year has been bad for retail, but it will be worse next year. Even Curry's will reduce their store portfolio further to 400 stores or less. As for bargains, I don't think there will be any as manufacturers are recalling stock and collecting it. Anyone who paid by goods by debit card can claim via chargeback if the goods cost a 100 plus. Likewise anyone using a credit card can claim the cost of the goods back if they haven't received them. If you paid cash, tough you will be an unsecured creditor and the same goes for the gift vouchers. Good luck to all staff is all I can say. I don't think many of them will find work with Dixons Store Group (Currys/PC World) as I said they are merging and closing stores including culling all Curry's Digital so electrical retailing is really on it's way out now.
  • Cooking B.
    I know that Dyson have recalled all of their stock from Comet stores. The staff were taking them off display when I was in there the other day.
  • Gabriella C.
    And why do people assume the internet is cheaper. I have seen things in store that are more expensive than online. How can you choose a fridge freezer online without touching it. Seeing it as a picture is one thing. I think retail needs less stores but more click and collect and this is something Argos does well. I understand that Comet were actually going to break even and it was OpCapita who pulled the plug because they didn't want to pay the cost of paying for goods upfront. I hope some jobs are saved but I am guessing the majority of the stores will close, some will go to Maplin and Currys will buy the online and website though that does seem wrong. May be John Lewis will buy some stores for it's John Lewish at Home format. I hope so. I think some will go to Poundland, B and M Bargains and Family Bargains. There are also some nasty people on here wishing the worst to people you don't know. I would not wish redundancy and unemployment on anyone. What a horrible country we live in.
  • Gabriella C.
    Re: Previous comment I meant, I have seen things in store that are cheaper than online. So internet isn't always cheaper. Some of us enjoy shopping. There is still a place for the High Street in Britain.
  • Gabriellaisababe
    Gabriella is a woman after me own <3 On a serious note though.. who says crime doesnt pay?? it does if youre Government or some of these big wheeler dealers i.e the banks, investment capitalists/brokers.. Opcapita & the boys behind JJB ;) Goldman Sachs etc the list is looong. Look at the loopholes, look at the dealings & you will see BIG ££££££££ made. Only poor slaves are getting (for lack of a better word) shafted good & proper!
  • Gabriella
    I went in to a branch of Comet today and just felt awful. The branch that I visited having stayed with relatives was alive, but stock was threadbare and prices higher than Currys or pre administration Comet prices, and the models on stock limited and out of date. I felt awful for the staff but I understand some branches are closing for the day on Wednesday and will then shut for good by the end of the week. Apparently OpCapita have 50m in funds from the Extended Warranties business of Comet that they are keeping so either way as a secured creditor Opcapita won't be losing out. Needless to say I didn't buy anything. I am thinking with specialist liquidators being appointed by Deloitte they will be shut down within two weeks / three weeks max given stock is limited. OpCapita should be barred from buying any more distressed retailer's. As for Game, watch your back, your turn comes next year when OpCapita do the same to them and I really would not be at all surprised to see Opcapita buy HMV and merge it with Game. Choice doesn't come in to it, money does. Big people trample the small people. If people are not careful, one day, you may find yourself barcoded and controlled by the state, oh but you already are.
  • quickiequestion
    I was at a Comet store other day. I was there when one of the administrators came in, he was telling the staff about the closing of the store. The guy reminded me of an undertaker, he was wearing a plain black suit & white shirt but his tie was red. Sad times ahead for the ordinary Joe :(
  • EX (.
    Kesa are to blame for all of this. When Comet was in profit they just invested the cash into their French Darty electrical chain. But when Comet started to make a loss they never invested back into the company, all they did was to stop under 28 day returns to customers , Head office would charge the store up to £300.00 for each return even for a kettle!. The service cover was no better, they would not exchange but only repair at all costs which could take weeks due to the managements bonuses up to 2k a month. I would like to say good luck to all comet staff in there future employment.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment