November 19, 2012 11:38 pm

Comet to axe another 735 jobs

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A further 735 jobs are being lost at Comet, bringing the total number of losses to more than 1,000 since the electrical chain went into administration three weeks ago.

Deloitte, the company’s administrator, said the redundancies would be in the company’s head office, central functions and across its home delivery network.

About 600 employees are being laid off from the home delivery network, which operates from 12 UK hubs. Deloitte said the network would continue to operate but with a significantly reduced workforce.

The remaining redundancies are at Comet’s head office and support functions. This includes 57 at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire; 17 in Hull; and 56 employees from the call centre in Clevedon, North Somerset.

Just over a week ago, Deloitte announced it was making 330 Comet employees redundant, the majority at the head office and in central functions such as finance and marketing.

The administrator said there had been no redundancies yet at the chain’s stores.

However, it confirmed on Saturday that up to 41 stores faced the possibility of closure by the end of November.

“The administrators will look to redeploy staff from any stores that close to other stores nearby, but there will inevitably be redundancies among the 869 full-time and part-time employees who work in these 41 stores,” Deloitte said.

The Financial Times revealed on Friday that the first of the group’s stores were poised to begin closing this week, in what looks set to be the final chapter for the chain.

Comet, which has 236 stores, went into administration after it ran out of cash in the run-up to Christmas.

Twenty-seven began closing-down sales on Saturday in a prelude to closure. Another 14 will also have to shut in the next few days unless a buyer can be found for them or new terms agreed with landlords. The remainder of Comet’s stores will continue to trade normally.

Private investment company OpCapita bought Comet from previous owner Kesa Electricals – now known as Darty – for just £2 in February this year. OpCapita received £50m in cash from Kesa.

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