Rival store offers help to workers at stricken Comet

The Comet store on Robin Park
The Comet store on Robin Park

STAFF at Wigan’s Comet store could be given a helping hand by rivals Curry’s while administrators try to find a buyer for the crippled electricals chain.

Following the appointment of Deloitte to try and rescue the brand last week, Curry’s - who are owned by the Dixons Retail group - could be set to offer staff who face redundancy Christmas jobs.

Comet - which has stores on Robin Park in Wigan and on the Parsonage Retail Park in Leigh - went into administration last week and Deloitte say they are looking at all possible options before deciding on the future of the store.

Sebastian James, chief executive of Dixons Retail, said 500 Comet staff had already approached his firm.

He said: “We are taking on a total of 3,000 people and 2,000 in the stores.

“We have delayed our recruitment so that Comet colleagues who want to join our stores can get a chance to do so. We are hoping we will get as many as possible of the Comet colleagues to join us,”

Mr James explained that the Comet staff were attractive to Dixons because they already know about its business - which includes Currys and PC World - its customers and the products it sells.

However he said that Dixons would not be trying to buy any Comet stores from the administrators.

“As we look across the country we are pretty much on all the same parks they are, so it doesn’t really make sense for us to do that,” he said.

Dixons has set up a website, dixonscareers.com, to organise the recruitment of the Comet staff, although it is open to any applicants.

Comet has been hit by the drop in consumer spending during the economic downturn, which has been particularly acute in the case of the big items that Comet sells.