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Comet closes its doors forever today

UK electronics retailer waves goodbye after almost 80 years
Tue Dec 18 2012, 13:20

HIGH STREET ELECTRICAL RETAILER Comet will close its doors for good today, putting an end to nearly 80 years of trade in consumer electronics since its founding in the 1930s.

Closing its shutters for the last time, Comet will be concluding its everything-must-go sale, which offered disappointing discounts on items that you probably could buy online for less anyway.

Though it will be your last chance today to pick up some of Comet's stock for up to half price reductions, you'll be disappointed to learn that this excludes TVs, PCs, laptops tablets and all Apple products - the products people actually want to buy at Christmas - because the almost defunct business deems them too valuable to sell at discount prices.

Comet was founded in Hull in 1933 by an entrepreneur named George Hollingbery and was then called Comet Battery Stores, with the first retail store opening in George Street, Hull in the 1950s.

But after calling in Deloitte administrators on 2 November following unsuccessful attempts to save the company, it announced that the remaining 49 of the original 243 stores in the UK would cease trading on 18 December.

After tomorrow all Comet stores will be shuttered, as its administrator Deloitte failed to find a buyer for the firm. However, it might not be the end for the electrical retailer, as the BBC reports that it could be sold to an online vendor, allowing the chain to survive via the internet.

It might be hard for us to care whether the company lives on or not, after its decline in popularity was made possible by the rise of online electronics retailers such as Amazon that have enabled us all to buy consumer electronics at much cheaper prices during the past decade or so.

Nevertheless, the demise of the firm has cost us, the taxpayers, as much as £49.4m in unpaid redundancy and tax payments, as the unwinding of Comet has failed to generate some of that much needed cash. µ  


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