Deathwatch: Comet At A Loss After Falling Sales

Following in the footsteps of other high Street stores, electronics giant Comet have reported a half year loss of £8.1m leading up to October 31st this year. According to Kesa Electricals:

...compared with a profit of £10.6m a year earlier...revenues for the period at Comet were down 8% to £723m from £785m last year...overall like-for-like sales across its Europe-wide operations were down 5.5%.

Trading conditions also look to be rough over the Christmas periods due to "extremely difficult trading conditions", they have reported today.  This pattern certainly seems to keep repeating.  Here's a couple of contrasting comments on Comet from you guys in relation to to the recent Worst UK Company of 2008 Contest:

MV: I can’t believe Comet didn’t make the last 32. They have the worst after sale customer care team I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with.

rr: i wont let you say a bad word against comet…i got a xbox360 arcade from them for £5 last month and was very impressed with the way their customer services acted throughout the whole incident

If you've dealt with Comet, let us know what you think.  Would you hedge your bets on Comet making it through in this financial climate?


  • Martin
    Oh crap. If they go bust there will be loads of gormless sixteen years olds loitering the streets instead of working in there.
  • Giles
    I try an avoid Comet. Ordered a cracking value laptop - paid for, account debited, the works. They then just cancelled the order due to "no stock, and not sure when we're getting any". Went elsewhere. 2 days later, back in stock but about £50 more.
  • Dave
    I have had the worst customer service from some of the staff at comet. But not all branches are the same but I would rather spend a bit more and go to John Lewis and get treated like a customer.
  • Che
    The problem with Comet is there just too expensive. Why would you buy anything from them when 99% of there products can be found at least 20% cheaper from reputable web dealers
  • Mudsy
    Last visited them around a year ago to buy a TFT monitor, through their website facility to reserve and collect. Website mentioned the monitor had a 3 year warranty, the salesman would only offer a years, when I asked an explanation for the contradiction he became irrate. When I persisted asking him to check the website himself he bacame abusive. A that point I decided to leave. Needless to say he was no amateur saleman he was the deputy manager! The sooner that ship sinks the better.
  • Matt
    I just bought kitchen appliances from them and found their customer service to be great. Oven turned up with a cracked glass door, replacement item sent out without a fuss, delivered on time, no problems at all. Maybe not the cheapest for everything but I got a reasonable deal with a bit of haggling.
  • Frank
    All retailers report losses the first half - thats when they buy stock - doh! I think they will be around longer than DSG group - who are seriously in debt. At least Comet is owned by a very stable French company. In terms of service - I think Comet try to spend a lot on long term customer value - such as wall bracket installation, and free removal of old TVs and Washing Machines. I was last there at Christmas buying a 40" HD TV - its a toshiba and it was down to £450! I think thats a goooood price. The people were friendly, if tired looking, and a man (without) asking came out with the box and wheeled it to the car and placed it gently in, wishing me a happy new year as he left! Basically I think Comet has a bad rep based on it's poor service past. But having read about their new online advice centre, and even their detailed online reviews - their website is certainly picking up the slack where other UK shop based retailers have not bothered.

What do you think?

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