Deathwatch: Beginning of the end for Comet?
It’s not quite Deathwatch, but significant changes are afoot at Comet, with the eventual sale of the electrical retail chain on the agenda as its European owner Kesa seems set to admit that it just isn’t working out.
Reports are suggesting that Kesa could be looking to flog off Comet and head back to the continent with their tales between their legs after a pretty wretched set of recent sales figures – a 13.7% fall. Meanwhile, in France, their Darty chain have reported a 7.6% rise in sales.
Comet plan to cut annual costs by £10m by consolidating its 14 regional service centres to two sites, reducing its warehouse network from three to two and reducing head office staff numbers. Last week, Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, Kesa’s chief executive, said of electrical retail, “It’s a very price competitive market, it’s a bit over spaced and it’s changing very fast towards the web.” Which might not be the best approach by someone who might be looking to get the maximum possible return for a business.
It’s all got us wondering as to who would actually buy Comet. And if they did, what would they do to revive its fortunes? Maybe it should just be towed out into the sea? Your thoughts?