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Comet stores in Crayford and Gravesend are under threat
ELECTRICALS chain Comet is the latest casualty on the high street to go into administration, threatening around 6,500 jobs.
Stores at Tower Retail Park, in Crayford, and Imperial Retail Park, in Thames Way, Gravesend, are just two of the 240 shops under threat.
Staff were informed of plans this morning (November 1) and restructuring specialist Deloitte has been lined up to handle the administration next week.
Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett said: "I was indeed concerned to read about the reports about Comet as their large Crayford store is in my constituency.
"This will of course be a troubling time for their employees and customers, especially in the run up to Christmas.
"I have been in touch with the company about this matter and have asked that I be kept advised of the situation as things develop."
Comet is owned by investment firm OpCapita, which bought it for just £2 earlier this year from Kesa Electricals as it struggled to compete against strong supermarket and online competition.
The company was founded in 1933 by George Hollingbery in Hull as Comet Battery Stores Limited - a two-man business charging batteries and accumulators for customer wireless sets. It moved into the radio rental business and by 1939 had 2,500 accounts.
The first Comet superstore opened in Hull in 1968 and the company was acquired by Kingfisher for £129 million in 1984. Comet then acquired Norweb Retail and increased its store portfolio to more than 250 nationwide in 1996.
In 2003 Comet and its sister electrical companies throughout Europe formed a new group known as Kesa Electricals.
Other recent high street casualties have included Clinton Cards, Game and Peacocks.