Job losses as store to close

Exterior of Comet

Exterior of Comet

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FURTHER job losses will hit Wiganers as electrical retailer Comet is to close.

Although no dates have been set for the closure, the 20 strong staff at the chain’s Robin Park store have been told it could be within weeks.

Their Skelmersdale distribution centre will remain open for the time being to supply the remaining stores until all remaining stock is sold.

The stricken retailer entered administration last month, adding its name to a recent list of high street casualties including JJB Sports, Clinton Cards, La Senza and Game.

Chris Farrington, from administrators Deloitte, said: “Unfortunately, in the absence of a firm offer for the whole of the business, it has become necessary to begin making plans in case a sale is not concluded.

“We remain in discussions with a small number of interested parties and hope that a positive outcome can still be achieved. Should any acceptable offers be received for stores we will delay the closure process.

“We remain extremely grateful to the company’s employees for their commitment and support during a period of concern and anxiety for them.”

Around 5,000 employees work across 195 Comet stores with more than 3,000 jobs expected to be affected by the latest decision to close 125 stores.

The remaining 70 will only remain open until all stock is sold. Employees will be paid salary, accrued holiday pay, overtime and bonuses for the administration period, Deloitte confirmed.

Coun David Molyneux, deputy leader and cabinet champion for economics and regeneration, said: “Obviously we are extremely disappointed with this news, especially as Comet has been established within the town for a number of years.

“At this time of year, people losing their jobs will have a major impact on those families involved and it is terrible news.

“I’m sure this has been a decision taken on behalf of their head office and is not a reflection on the staff at Wigan’s Comet store, who are extremely hard-working.”

Bolton based Appliances Online tabled a bid for Comet’s website last week.