Deloitte administrators appointed to Comet

by Rachael Singh

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05 Nov 2012

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Lobby at Deloitte offices

DELOITTE ADMINISTRATORS have been appointed to electrical retail giant Comet.

Neville Kahn, Nick Edwards and Chris Farrington, all from Deloitte, have been appointed joint administrators of the retailer, which is headquartered in Rickmansworth.

Comet operates out of 236 stores and employs 6,611 full- and part-time staff – which is equivalent to 4,683 full-time staff.

Following recent reports that trade credit insurers (TCIs) had withdrawn from the business, the company directors had no choice but to seek an insolvency process. TCIs insure the payment of goods to suppliers should the retailer collapse.

Kahn said: "Comet has been battling the changing landscape of the electrical retail sector for many years. It has become increasingly difficult for it to compete with online retailers which don't face the same overheads such as store rents and business rates.

"Our immediate priorities are to stabilise the business, fully assess its financial position, and begin an urgent process to seek a suitable buyer which would also preserve jobs.

"In the meantime, all stores will continue to trade and all employees will continue to be paid. We appreciate the cooperation and support from the management, staff, customers, landlords and suppliers at what is clearly a very difficult time."

The administrators said the lack of first-time buyers, a core market for Comet, has hit the company hard, as well as the withdrawl of trade credit insurers and a difficult trading market, have all led to the collapse.

Kahn has worked on several large high-profile retailer administrations including Woolworths and Mosaic Group, which sold its four brands – Coast, Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen – to Aurora Fashions.

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