According to Andrea Felsted, reporting for the Financial Times earlier today, Comet has already spoken with Deloitte who will probably be the administrators.
Reuters also reporting that Comet has been cost cutting recently. It reduced its staff numbers from 8500 down to 7000 to “improve efficiency”.
No Credit Insurance
Comet took a huge risk last year in having no credit insurance. Christmas 2011 was a disaster for many retailers and Comet had no protection from the customer collapse that occurred.
Comet has been one of the UK’s biggest electronics retailers. It was founded in 1933 by Hull businessman George Hollingberry as Comet Battery Stores Limited.
Failure To Move Online
Comet missed out on a great opportunity to leverage its brand to move online. It continued to operate in out-of-town retail parks while new online stores grew in dominance. Also, other high street stores have made a better use of the Internet to market their business, as can be seen in the advert on our own page:
Comet Corporate History
For a while it was owned by retail giant Kingfisher plc., a FTSE 100 company. In 2003 Kingfisher demerged Comet, forming a new arm to its retail business called Kesa (Kingfisher Electricals SA). In 2005 Comet rebranded in an attempt to position itself as the UK’s leading electrical retailer, ahread of Dixons and Currys.
On 9th November 2011 Comet was sold to OpCapita for £2, with a £50 million incentive from owners Darty (previously named Kesa).
243 stores in the UK
Comet has 243 stores in the UK and all of these are now at risk of closure. Most stores are in out-of-town retail parts. Comet stocks a wide range of brands, but focuses on its “premier collection , which includes Panasonic, Pioneer, Apple, Sony, Samsung, Philips, AEG and Miele.
2010 / 11 Loss
Comet had made a profit every year from 2000 until 2009. However, in the year 2010/11 it made a loss of £8.9 million, even with sales of £1,537.9 million.
Ongoing financial problems and poor sales has left Comet in a dire position. We are expecting to hear the official news later on Thursday that Comet will enter administration.
- Comet edges towards administration, By Andrea Felsted