Plug is pulled on electrical store Comet after no buyer found
THE city's branch of electrical store Comet closed yesterday after administrators failed to find a buyer for the business.
About 20 jobs have been lost as a result of the store's closure in Kingsway Retail Park.
It was among the 49 remaining Comet outlets to have its final day of trading yesterday.
The closure of the last group of stores from the former 235-strong estate came seven weeks after Deloitte was appointed administrator after Comet racked up huge losses.
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Deloitte failed to find a buyer for the company or any of its shops – although it is still in talks about selling the brand and the online business.
In the meantime, Comet, which also had outlets in Sandiacre and Burton, has disappeared from the high street.
Yesterday, a steady flow of shoppers were seen going in and out of the Derby store looking for 11th-hour bargains.
But the majority of the shop floor had been cordoned off and all that remained was a table selling small electrical items.
Among those who went to the store was Julie Meredith, 46, a magazine editor from Ashbourne.
She said: "I'd been to the store a couple of weeks ago when they began the closing down sale and managed to get a couple of items, but the discounts were not as much as I was expecting.
"It's bad when any business closes, but people's shopping habits have changed.
"This Christmas, I've done around 80% to 90% of my shopping on the internet."
Helena Flinton, 39, a fitness instructor from Derby, said: "It's sad that the store is closing and people are losing their jobs, particularly at Christmas. I went to see if I could buy a computer for my son but there was almost nothing left."
Chris Alcock, 33, an IT consultant from Turnditch, said: "One of my friends asked me to pop down because he had heard it was the last day and he wanted a tumble dryer.
"There were a couple of vacuum cleaner heads and some other bits and pieces. I suppose it's a sign of the times. The internet is so convenient and the delivery of goods has become so efficient that most of us are doing our shopping that way."
Staff at the Derby store were asked by the Telegraph to comment on the closure but management said they had been told not to talk to the media.
Comet has had a presence in Derby for decades. It originally traded from premises in Bradshaw Way before relocating to Kingsway Retail Park in the early 1990s.
At one point, the retail park was home to five electrical stores – Comet, Powerhouse, Norweb, Home Power and Northern Electrical.
It is now home to just one – the Currys/PC World store.
Most recently, the retail park was home to another electrical store, Best Buy. But it closed in January after just over a year of trading.
Meanwhile, customers who took out service plans and extended warranties on goods previously bought from the Derby store have been reassured that these will be honoured.
In a statement, Comet said: "ExtraCare service plans and extended warranties are provided by a third party and are unaffected by the administration of Comet Group Limited. These will remain in full effect and will continue to provide protection for your product. To speak to a relevant repair agent, call the Comet Customer Support Centre on 0844 800 95 95."