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Comet labelled "biggest high street failure since Woolworths" as last stores close

Published: 18 December 2012
The final 49 Comet stores will shut up shop for good today after administrators failed to find a buyer for the electrical chain, which would have celebrated 80 years of trading next year.
Comet labelled 'biggest high street failure since Woolworths' as last stores close
The firm employed almost 7,000 at the time of its collapse last month, and is being labelled one of the biggest high street failures since the fall of Woolworths four years ago. The retailer's administrator Deloitte - which was also appointed administrator of Woolworths back in 2008 - has said it is still in talks with some parties over the sale of internet operations and the brand.

Deloitte also admitted the £49.4m unpaid redundancy and tax payments bill will now fall to the taxpayer. The Government's Redundancy Payments Services will be required to meet £23.2m of the outstanding redundancy and accrued holiday pay, as well as pay in lieu of notice due to insufficient funds having been raised during Comet's final few weeks of trading.

More than £26.2m, meanwhile, is owed in taxes to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), one of several unsecured creditors of Comet who are owed a reported total of £233m - none of which will now be repaid. Comet's losses in the year to April totalled £95m, with revenues down by £200m. A further £31m has been lost since then.

Just last week Deloitte was the target of much vitriol from Comet customers when it was revealed charity donations made for the staff were to be re-directed to charity.

Comments

Published prior to March 2014
By Mr A jones
With regards to the above losses Comet has amassed , I closed my business after 7 years of trading under very hard and competitive times , closing the company and owing approx 25,000 debts split between my partner , we have got numerous balifs calling to my house causing a lot of stress for all of my family unfortunately we were not Ltd , its just another case of the small man getting penalised again , I'm not alone , will things ever change , that's just one example I have many more .



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