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By | Paul Kunert 19th November 2012 10:17

Cashless Comet to close 41 stores, axe 500 jobs

Only slim chance of morph into Dixons, Maplins

Collapsed electricals retailer Comet is to shutter 41 stores over the next fortnight, administrator Deloitte has confirmed.

So far Dixons Retail and Maplin are among the rivals circling the fallen retailer, although it appears the two are interested in just a handful of stores.

As a result the closing down process began at 27 stores this weekend, putting in the order of some 500 jobs at risk of redundancy. Another 14 shops will move into shut-down mode this week.

"We are very grateful to the company's employees for their professionalism, loyalty and support at this difficult time," said Deloitte joint administrator Chris Farrington.

He added: "All employees will of course continue to be paid for all the work they do while the company is in administration."

A closing down sale was initiated at the weekend across stores due to be shuttered and more aggressive discounts will be applied to the other remaining 195 outlets, the administrator said.

Deloitte, called into Comet at the start of this month, began chopping staff a week ago when 330 workers, mainly at head office and in support functions, were shown the door.

At the time Deloitte said it did not plan to close any of the stores or axe sales bods in those outlets as talks with interested parties continued.

The troubles at Comet emerged a year after former parent Kesa Electrical offloaded the business to VC OP Capita along with a £50m dowry. The business hit the skids when stocking up for the peak Christmas period.

Suppliers, forced to trade with Comet without credit insurance, demanded cash with order - and cash flow at the retailer simply dried up.

Comet had 236 stores employing 6,611 staffers before Deloitte moved in. ®

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