Comet close to administration, 6,000 jobs under threat

Electrical retailer Comet could file for administration as soon as Thursday, putting another 6,000 jobs under threat on Britain’s struggling high street.

The retailer has been under increasing pressure from suppliers to pay upfront for stock before the critical Christmas trading period. The company is trading without credit insurance, which protects suppliers against the failure of a retailer.

Those demands are understood to have intensified in the past fortnight after it emerged that OpCapita, the private equity company that owns Comet, had received approaches for the chain.

Deloitte has been lined up as an administrator in what will be the 29th high street retailer to go into administration since the turn of the year.
The prospect of Comet’s administration is the latest blow for a brick and mortar retailer grappling with the the increasing popularity of online shopping and UK consumers with less money to spend.

“This is a fair barometer of weakening retailer confidence in the mainstream high street for the months ahead,” said Glynn Mummery, a partner at FRP Advisory, a restructuring firm.