, Business editor
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Staff at stricken electricals chain Comet were dealt a pre-Christmas blow today after administrators announced a further 125 stores will close including its outlets in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, and King’s Lynn.
Deloitte said it would only keep the remaining 70 stores open until all remaining stock was sold.
The timings of the closures has not bee confirmed, but it will affect 20 staff in Norwich, 16 in Great Yarmouth and 11 in King’s Lynn.
Deloitte also confirmed it was still in talks with a “small number” of interested buyers, but said it was necessary to begin shutting shops in the absence of a firm offer for the whole business.
Deloitte also plans to close the company’s distribution centre in Harlow, Essex, this Friday and will cut back office functions at Rickmansworth, Hull and Clevedon.
Chris Farrington, joint administrator at Deloitte, said store closures are likely to start next month, but added that the process will be delayed if they receive any “acceptable offers” for stores.
Around 5,000 employees work across the 195 Comet stores, with more than 3,000 jobs expected to be affected by today’s decision to shut 125 shops.
Comet employees are to be paid salary, accrued holiday pay, overtime and bonuses for the period covered by the administration.