Electrics retailer Comet is set to start closing stores by the end of November if a buyer is not found for the insolvent chain.
The first of a reported 41 closures are due to start next week. There are presently 26 Comet stores in Scotland – two in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Remaining outlets will continue to trade over the festive period, with most stock being heavily discounted.
The retailer entered administration earlier in November, with more than six thousand jobs being put at risk. In a statement, administrators Deloitte said:
“While the administrators will look to redeploy staff from any stores which do face closure to other stores nearby, there will inevitably be redundancies.”
It is thought that rival chain Dixons could be ready to provide some help by offering Christmas positions to staff facing redundancy.
However, many industry analysts, as well as the administrators, feel that Comet is operating in a poor niche, with little chance of reversing fortunes. A high number of the firm’s customers tend to be first-time home-buyers.
The lack of access to credit also prevented the chain from restocking in the run-up to Christmas.
Many companies are not taking on credit presently, managing instead to cope through the economic downturn with factoring facilities. Others still are managing to grow with the use of such facilities as well as invoice discounting.
The downfall of Comet is one of the most significant failures in the British High Street since the demise of Woolworth’s, which worked to a similar business model.