Comet staff face Christmas redundancies

HUNDREDS of people working at Comet’s call centre near Clevedon could be unemployed by Christmas if a buyer for the stricken retailer cannot be found.

Today (Weds), administrators appointed to deal with the assets of the electrical giant, Deloitte, said if a firm offer for the whole business cannot be secured soon, it will begin closing stores from next week.

Since Comet went into administration at the beginning of November, 98 jobs have been cut at the electrical giant’s call centre at Windmill Business Park off Kenn Road in Kenn.

Now, Deloitte has announced it intends to scale back the centre’s operations even more as it looks to close 125 stores across the country. The stores will be closed over several weeks and the call centre scaled back at the same time.

Joint administrator Chris Farrington 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. If a sale is not possible we would envisage stores to begin closing in December.

“All employees will be paid for the work they do while the company is in administration and I can confirm that any accrued holiday pay, overtime and bonus earned during the administration trading period, together with the pre-administration bonus that was owed to employees at the time of our appointment, will be paid to employees as previously stated.”

A helpline has been put in place for all employees and the company is also assisting those made redundant in finding new jobs by establishing connections with 35 prospective employers who are keen to offer roles to ex-Comet staff.