Comet sold off for £2!

Mayor reopened Comet last November after £250k refit

Electrical retailer Comet, who have a superstore in Woodside avenue, has been sold today to a private equity company for just £2 leaving employees to face an uncertain future.

French parent company Kesa were anxious to offload the struggling chain after revenues dived by 22%.

The bad news comes days after it was announced that Hedge End Best Buy stores is to close with the loss of a 100 jobs.

The electrical goods market has been hit by the recession, internet marketing and competition from Supermarket megastores like Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s who discount big ticket electrical items like TV’s.

Sainsbury’s in Eastleigh is currently offering 32” LCD TV’s for £169 while the cheapest in comet is £249. Shoppers in Sainsburys and Tesco can also use their loyalty club points to purchase items.

Internet retailers like Amazon.co.uk offer discount – straight from the manufacturer prices  -and free delivery.

Comet staff face uncertain future

Comets new owners have promised to keep the business running for at least another 18 months , however it is reported some of the 250 comet stores will be shuttered.

It is not known if this will include the Eastleigh outlet which last November underwent a quarter of a million pound refit before a razzmatazz re-opening by Mayor John Caldwell.

see also: Bye Bye Best Buy

  5 comments for “Comet sold off for £2!

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    November 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    They used to call ‘private equity’ companies ‘assett strippers’.
    Except these days there are no assetts to strip.
    There are only liabilites.
    Every thing is leased, the stores..even the delivery trucks while stock levels are kept to bare minimum.
    Meanwhile there are pension liabilities, warranties, loan debt and redundancy payments.
    Best hope is for new owners to turn business around but this usually means store closures and lower pay and conditions for the remaining staff.
    Lets hope Eastleigh branch can be kept going.

    • Arn99
      November 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

      The new business model is:
      1) buy a distressed company for a knockdown price
      2) Pay yourself a massive bonus
      3) Close it
      4) repeat step 1

  2. Peter Stewart
    November 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I very rarely buy things on the internet. I like shops where you can see first hand the variety of stock. I wonder if any figures have been compiled to show whether the transition of part of retail to internet sales, has destroyed/increased or made no change to the job numbers.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      November 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      Do you not shop at Argos Pete? You don’t get to see the goods there first except in the ‘laminated book of dreams’.
      Plenty of tellys to see up at Asda!
      One electrical goods retailer bucking the trend – and helping to drive a nail into the coffin of Best Buy , Comet et al., is Brighthouse.

      That’s cos they offer HP.

      A sign of the times that is …making a comeback in the recession. all stores used to offer it.
      Perhaps Comet need to think about offering it too.

      I remember, in the’60s my parents bought me a Philips transistor radio on HP from Curry’s …and also a push bike!

  3. November 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    A sign of the times…agreed. The asset strippers move in after the owners have taken the money / profits and run. Some things never change.

    This Christmas, how about we all shop at ‘local’ businesses and boycott the big stores. Many businesses are giving coupons for money off goods and services in an effort to attract custom.

    Here in Chandlers Ford, there are still small businesses to support. Use it or loose it.

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