UK-based Comet electronics retailer to shut down Tuesday

A major electronics retail store chain in the UK is now in the process of shutting down. Comet, which at one point had close to 240 stores in the UK, will shutter its remaining 49 locations on Tuesday, causing 6,600 Comet team members to lose their jobs.

The retail chain began in 1993, according to Hexus, but ran into financial issues last month after its suppliers changed and tightened their purchase terms to Comet. The Comet website is still online but is only in place to inform store customers of which retail locations have already shut down and which ones will stay open until Tuesday. There are also FAQ pages for general questions as well as for how the company is handling gift cards that have already been bought.

 

It's likely that some Comet stores could be acquired by another retail chain – Dixons has already brought in 1,000 former Comet workers to become temporary holiday employees. However, the UK government might have to step in to help pay for some of the fallout. Reports claim that taxpayers might have to pay £24 million in back pay to store employees. In addition, Comet still owes £26 million to the UK Tax Office.

Source: Hexus | Images via Comet

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Bloomberg: HTC scraps plans for large Windows Phone device

Next Story

RIM sending out invites for BlackBerry 10 event in NYC

29 Comments

View more comments

I went and the TV's only got to 20% off, even at the end. People still bought though - even though the prices were still higher than you can find online, madness! Its like some people believe it has to be cheaper due to a closing down sale and don't bother to check.

duddit2 said,
I went and the TV's only got to 20% off, even at the end. People still bought though - even though the prices were still higher than you can find online, madness! Its like some people believe it has to be cheaper due to a closing down sale and don't bother to check.

Exactly. When I passed the local store, it said "Two floors full of low prices". I wouldn't have been surprised if someone sued them for false advertising; even moreso if that was outside GAME or HMV.

might pop down and see if i can get something little for a song.. could do with a new electric whisk tbh, not joking

in all seriousness though, the taxpayer thing is complete bull****.. arghh

thealexweb said,
Never again will a HDMI cable be sold for £60.. unless they go to Dixons XD

So in my case, right next door to Comet.

I got confused at first, as Dixon stores haven't existed for years; it's just the Dixons Group now, which owns Currys & PC World, so yep, £60 HDMI cables will still be around.

But if they do that they won't be able to charge different (full) prices for the same item that gets delivered from the same warehouse by the same lorry on the same day...

"Comet still owes £26 million to the UK Tax Office"
Sorry, WHAT? So a company is allowed to ignore paying tax but to still operate?
I actually cannot believe this country, if you don't pay tax as an individual, you get interest charged on it, get taken to court and get bailifs round... If you pay too much tax, you get no interest on it.
But if you're a company, woah just hold on a minute Mr. Company Owner, put your cheque book away, firstly don't even bother paying any tax at all! And if you DO decide to actually pay tax then just leave it a few years before paying so it can amount to you owing us over £10m which we'll never get!

What a ****ing joke.

n_K said,
Sorry, WHAT? So a company is allowed to ignore paying tax but to still operate?

Of course! Starbucks, Amazon, Tesco, and Vodafone can all attest to that.

There's a difference between using perfectly legal methods to reduce tax and when a company goes bust the taxman not getting any of its deserved VAT that customers have paid on their good.

thealexweb said,
There's a difference between using perfectly legal methods to reduce tax and when a company goes bust the taxman not getting any of its deserved VAT that customers have paid on their good.

Yes, what the companies I mentioned are doing is sadly still legal, but they're doing the same thing as you mentioned of Comet: not giving the taxman any of its deserved VAT that customers have paid on their goods. The goods are bought here in the UK, but the VAT goes straight to Luxembourg (in Amazon's case).

MightyJordan said,

Of course! Starbucks, Amazon, Tesco, and Vodafone can all attest to that.

Vodaphone was found in breach to the tune of *6 billion* but was allowed to only pay a fraction of that, and as part of a deferred plan. In this respect they differ greatly from the other avoiders.

Woolworths. Now they knew how to do a closing down sale. Lost Season 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. For under £30 for the lot and Season 5 was blu-ray.

Shame these big chains are shutting down. I think it is because i remember going in them during my childhood most weekends.

This is what you get though when you can't be competitive with prices. Online is killing the local high street.

Such a shame but comet was extremely over priced compared to other stores..

Online and supermarkets are killing the high street shops, i guess that's life i suppose.. can't stop progression just to keep a couple of shops in business, they need to try and get with the times or they'll be left behind.

It must be awful losing your job at this time of year, it will be hard to enjoy xmas knowing you aren't going back to work in the new year.

Woohoo, never liked it in Comet nor the people who worked in there, always obnoxious people.

Glad it's over now

I'm sad that it's yet another high street retailing shutting it's doors, and all those poor people losing their jobs at christmas. Bad news

A typo in the article ... Comet was founded in 1933, not 1993. According to Wikipedia anyway!

Eitherway, Comet has definitely been around a lot longer than the last 19 years.

Not surprised its bankrupt to be honest. Was looking for am monitor so decided to pop in and apparently 60% off everything. A 20" monitor cost £220 after the reduction . Went online and picked one up for £87.

Comet are thieving *******.

The amount of times ive gone in there against my will and you have salesmen conning the elderly into buying stuff they do not need at all, just so they can make their commission up, its sick.

Karma.

They kinda deserve to go bust tbh. I mean look at their pricing, as others have mentioned even during sales periods they were more expensive than both high street stores and online stores. The high street stores need to improve their pricing structure and introduce good deals to entice people to buy, not keep hiking prices and blaming it all on the online stores. I think HMV finally got the message, they have been reducing their retail pricing all over the place, in some cases cheaper than online retailers and guess what, both stores I visited the other day were packed solid.

Commenting is disabled on this article.