Today is a sad day for many thousands of people and for the high streets and retail parks of this country. The on going process of trying to sell electrical retailer Comet failed finally today, securing it’s place on the every growing list of high street companies that have fallen victim to the tough economic climate and the rise of internet sales.
Though the business had well over 100 different offers for the company, only a few of those were viable according to administrators Deloitte. Though the loss of jobs isn’t going to be the only cost. Due to redundancies and owed tax that probably will never get paid, the taxpayer is going to be hit by a nearly £50m bill! Guess we didn’t see that one coming!
If you’re an unsecured creditor, the figures are even worse. In total, if you put all the unsecured creditors together, the total bill owed comes to an eye watering £233m. With debts like these, it’s not surprising that a deal wasn’t done to sell the company on.
Coment had 236 stores nationwide. It closed the majority of them to try and significantly cut costs and make the purchase of the business seem more attractive. But today, unless a miraculous deal can be struck at the eleventh hour, the remaining 49 stores will close for the final time today and thousands of people will be made redundant at probably the worst time of year.
The troubles of Comet are a lesson for us all to learn. The lesson is to adapt. To clear your debts whenever possible. Embrace changes like the internet and alter your business model to work around that. This is something Comet failed to do and in the end the economy has done to them what it has done to so many other high street stores and chains up and down the country.
I do sincerely hope that all those who have lost their jobs as a result of Comet’s demise find employment soon and that they get back on their feet ready for the New Year.