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Comet set to crash?

The Comet store at Fife Central Retail Park in Kirkcaldy

The Comet store at Fife Central Retail Park in Kirkcaldy

The future of the Comet Kirkcaldy store could be in jeopardy after the company called in administators last week.

The Fife Central Retail Park store could potentially close if administrators cannot find a buyer for the company.

It was announced last Thursday that the owners of the electrical goods company, OpCapita, would be putting it into administration, with business advisory firm Deloitte LLP drafted in to handle proceedings on Friday.

Comet employs an estimated 700 people in Scotland at 34 stores. As well as the Kirkcaldy store, there is one other store in Fife, in Dunfermline.

In a statement last week, Neville Kahn, joint administrator and recruiting services partner at Deloitte, said: “Comet has been battling the changing landscape of the electrical retail sector for many years.

“It has become increasingly difficult for it to compete with online retailers which don’t face the same overheads such as store rents and business rates.

Priorities

Our immediate priorities are to stabilise the business, fully assess its financial position and begin an urgent process to seek a suitable buyer which would also preserve jobs.

He contiuned: “In the meantime, all stores will continue to trade and all employees will continue to be paid.”

At the time of going to press, no further updates had been released.

On Friday, the use of all gift cards and vouchers was suspended while administrators considered their position and this continued over the weekend. However, as of the start of trading yesterday (Wednesday), Comet was once again accepting this form of payment.

Advice

Geoff Bates, service manager with Fife Council’s Enterprise and Protective Services, has advice for anyone buying goods during this unstable period. “As the administrators are advising that from now on goods will only be sold with a manufacturer’s warranty it is a good idea for people to pay with a credit card for goods costing over £100 to get cover under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act” he said.

“Should Comet be placed in liquidation anyone who has paid by cash or debit card will have no claim for goods if they become faulty down the line.”

If you have any other consumer queries, please call the Citizens Advice helpline on 08454 040506.

 

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