Essex: Last Comet Stores To Close

18 December 2012, 07:38

Comet's last remaining stores, including three in Essex, will shut for the final time today (Tuesday December 18th) as the high street chain becomes the latest high-profile casualty.

The closure of the final group of 49 stores, including ones in Chelmsford, Basildon and Romford, from the former 235-strong estate comes seven weeks after Deloitte was appointed administrator.

The collapse of the firm, which employed around 6,895 people at the time of its collapse, is one of the biggest high street failures since the demise of Woolworths in 2008.

Deloitte has so far failed to find a buyer for the company or any of its shops.

With insufficient funds raised from the winding down of the chain, it will fall to the Government's Redundancy Payments Service to meet £23.2 million of outstanding redundancy pay, accrued holiday pay and pay in lieu of notice.

The report states the chain racked up losses of £95 million in the year to April, having seen revenues slump by £200 million on a year earlier.

This was followed by a further £31 million loss in the subsequent five months as credit insurers lost confidence and withdrew support for the business.