The administrators at Deloitte have confirmed that all the UK Comet stores are to close tomorrow just days before Christmas. This marks the end of the chain on the High Street. It is possible that the brand may continue online as the website did a great deal of business. Appliancesonline.co.uk has expressed an interest in the website and Currys may buy a couple of the stores at the 11th hour. Dixons has hired 1000 staff from Comet in order to help process the Christmas rush.
According to a report by the administrators, the treasury is a loser in all this as the company owes some £26m to HMRC. In addition, the company has unsecured creditors which included ITV and Google, which are owed £1.2 million and £602,000 respectively for unpaid advertising bills. There are also £4.2m worth of unredeemed gift cards.
However, an estimated £40 million of payments will be made to suppliers and £2.1 million of holiday and back pay owed to staff will be paid in full. However any redundancy claims will need to be met by the government for all 6000 staff. This is likely to amount to a further £25m.
For further information see our page on employee redundancy in insolvency situations.