Comet store in Scunthorpe is safe for now
The future of the Comet store in Scunthorpe still hangs in the balance after administrators released a store closure list – in which it is not named.
Staff at the store on Lakeside Retail Park will have a further wait, as the fate of 14 other stores still has to be decided.
The locations of the other 14 electical stores which may have to close by the end of November will be disclosed once final decisions have been taken regarding the locations.
The Joint Administrators of Comet today announced 735 further redundancies in the company's head office, central functions and across its home delivery network. While the Administrators continue to search for a buyer for all or parts of the business, regrettably, it has been necessary to reduce the company's back office and deliveries workforce.
603 employees have been made redundant from the home delivery network which operates from 12 hubs across the UK. The network will continue to operate, although with a significantly reduced workforce at each of the 12 locations, in order to complete deliveries and continue to support the repairs operation.
In addition, the Administrators have had to make a further 132 employees redundant from Comet's head office and support functions. This includes 57 redundancies at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire: 17 employees in Hull; and 56 employees from the call centre in Clevedon. The announcements were made to affected staff in meetings today.
There have been no redundancies to date at Comet stores. However, the Administrators confirmed on Saturday (17th) that up to 41 Comet stores may have to close between now and the end of November, unless a buyer can be found for the business. A closing down sale with increased discounts has begun in 27 stores and a further 14 stores may be identified for closure in the coming days unless a buyer can be found or new terms agreed with landlords in the meantime. At the same time, more generous discounts will be applied to products across all Comet stores from tomorrow.
Chris Farrington, Joint Administrator, commented: "Discussions continue to take place with parties who have expressed interest in parts of the business. However, it is unfortunately necessary to begin a store closure programme and to scale back the company's support functions. While we will continue to do all we can to preserve jobs, we are working hard to put in place comprehensive support to help those employees who are made redundant during the Administration.
"This support includes connecting people to prospective employers who are keen to offer roles to ex-Comet staff, and providing assistance and workshops to help with job hunting skills, such as CV and cover letter writing and interview skills, to enhance their chances of securing new employment.
"We are very grateful to the company's employees for their professionalism, loyalty and support at this difficult time and employees will of course continue to be paid for all the work they do while the company is in Administration."
Neville Kahn, Nick Edwards and Chris Farrington of Deloitte, the business advisory firm, were appointed Joint Administrators to Comet, the electrical retailer, on Friday 2 November.