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Shoppers 'not surprised' by demise of Comet

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 06, 2012

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SHOPPERS say they are not surprised that Comet, which has two stores in Gloucester, is battling against closure.

The national electrical store has fallen into administration after failing to keep up with its online competitors.

Uncertainty now remains over the future of the stores at St Oswald's Retail Park and Metz Way, which employ 27 and 15 staff respectively.

Retired Colin Eilbeck, a shopper from Podsmead, said: "We have just had a look around for a new Hoover but they are very expensive and they didn't have what we wanted.

"I am not surprised at all that they have ended up like this."

The administrators Deloitte have been appointed and they are looking for a buyer.

They have vowed to pay 6,611 employees until a decision has been made over the fate of 236 stores across the UK.

Neville Kahn, joint administrator, said: "Comet has been battling the changing landscape of the electrical retail sector for many years.

"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."

They say that fewer people are buying expensive electrical goods because of the economic climate and online retailers are able to offer cheaper products with the big overheads of running a store.

Extended warranties are unaffected but the purchase of gift cards has been suspended and the store will not process orders for goods if they are not in stock and have to be sourced from another company.

Shopper Linda Smith, from Matson, said: "I don't have the luxury of buying expensive electricals from somewhere like Comet. I go to Cash Converter instead."

Student Nick Ledger, 17, from Cheltenham, said: "I use them for little things like memory sticks as they take forever to come online and in store you don't need to pay for delivery."

But 17-year-old Amey Pittaway, from Podsmead, said: "I have never been to Comet and never want to go. It doesn't interest me."

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  • Raccoon  |  November 06 2012, 6:33PM

    I've always found Comet to be cheaper than Curry's. Is Curry's going down the pan as well?

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  • SandraPee  |  November 06 2012, 5:17PM

    I did well from Comet at St. Oswald's earlier in the year ....... got two great deals , and they were cheaper than Amazon or other on line stores .... ok, had to collect , well, chose to , but, good value! No problem .

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  • Dr_Hfrrrrr  |  November 06 2012, 4:50PM

    So some old duffer who thinks they are too expensive, some ***** who goes to cash convertors, a student and a kid who has never set foot in the place are the best that TiG can find to comment on Comet's demise? Top notch journalism as ever TiG.

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  • FreeRadical1  |  November 06 2012, 3:09PM

    Well, some shoppers might not be surprised, but I was. Comet's prices weren't bad at all. I compared prices before purchasing a TV there ready for the digital switchover. It was some brand that I'd never heard of, but it is an excellent TV.

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  • Steve_Thomas  |  November 06 2012, 1:30PM

    I thought they'd ceased trading years ago. They'd certainly kept a low profile. Ironic that the 'pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap' discount warehouses that hit the trade of specialist retailers in the '80s (remember firms like Lasky's?) has now fallen victim, while the specialists and independents have made a comeback. I guess the out-of-town centres and online retailers will eventually fall, since many people are still happy to pay a bit more for expert advice and for the physical, in-town shopping experience.

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  • NibNobs  |  November 06 2012, 8:05AM

    It was a bit of a luxury having 3 large Comet stores within a few miles of each other if you include Cheltenham, fine in the retail/housing boom years that finally ended in 2007 but not now. I haven't been to a Comet since I discovered the ease of buying a TV, laptop etc from amazon.com or ebay with free delivery. If I buy locally I now go to the excellent Gillmans web site (usually as I want to old appliance taken away) and save my petrol costs as no need to visit the shop and then have to dump the old knackered appliance at Hempsted.

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