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back to article Comet confesses: The receivers are among us even now

Comet has finally confirmed that administrative receivers will be landing on its door step early next week. It is understood that Deloitte will review the options for the ailing retailer which include selling it as a going concern, scaling it back or liquidating it. A spinner at the chain told The Channel: "Comet Group Limited …

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Anonymous Coward

Does this mean my 25 year telly warranty will be cancelled?

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Anonymous Coward

aren't warranties covered by an insurance scheme, designed to be independent of the retailer

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Anonymous Coward

I'm still wondering about my Rumbelows tape deck warranty, the volume control has stopped working...

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Anonymous Coward

The last time comet changed hands they gave £50 million to the buyer to take it off their hands.

Is there anyone mad enough to give it another go?

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Meh

John Browett

Has just been axed from Apple and is probably looking for a job.

He turned Dixons/Currys round so why not give him a punt?

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Alert

Re: John Browett

This is a corpse, not a sick patient..

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Coat

Dixons

>Dixons shareholders skip and clap their hands for joy

Because their business model is so different from Comet's, it could not possibly happen to them.

Err, it's cold out there.

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Coat

meh

I guess the only real losers here are the staff.

I can't recall the last time I went into an electrical retail store - actually, I can. It was horrible. Ridiculous prices, hardly any choice, ignorant spotty oiks for staff - generally a poor experience.

Is it any wonder they are all going under?

Dinosaurs.

There was a time when a visit to an electrical store, most specifically when personal computing started taking off, when it was almost as good as visiting a hardware store. (for blokes that is)

But lets face it, teh interwebs is the schniz, the yaks yarbles, the proverbial dogs.

You kinda wonder why the owners of Comet didn't cotton on 10 years ago - "Oh, look, the internet, must get ourselves on there quick as a ferret up a trouser leg."

It's akin to the dinosaurs of the music business, clinging onto the past in the hope this pesky internet business will go away.

It won't be long before maplins and dixons head the same way.

Maplins - whilst it has a relatively easy to use eCommerce site, the prices are stupid.

Because of their 'brick and mortar' retail outlets, they just cannot compete.

Effectively, they become 'emergency purchase' physical retail outlets.

"Damn, hard drive has gone, need a new one now " - hop in car, groan at shelling out £40 more. Bad experience all round.

About the only benefit a lot of these electrical retails had when compared with the internet, was easy credit. Now that's all dried up, anyone without a good credit record is going to be told to walk = business model stuffed. People who have a good credit don't need to shop at Comet. Simples.

To be honest, comet going under - it's not a big loss at all unless you work for them.

The loss of bakeries, fishmongers, butchers, delis, pubs, decent record stores - now that's bad.

An electrical retailer? Meh.

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Re: meh

I only ever used Dixons, Currys, PC World, etc. to test things before I buy them. There's a variety of specifications that you can't publish accurately on a website and can only tell from looking at the thing in person.

Case in point, I recently moved into an empty house and had to buy all new appliances. I didn't want to spend a fortune and the kitchen is quite odd dimensions. So I was literally in those stores, measuring the bottom six inches of fridges to see if they'd fit over pipes (even if the specs say it's 55cm deep, it's how deep it is at the bottom that mattered - 50% of models "went in", 50% of models the bottom was the longest part), measuring the length of adjustable legs on tumble dryers, seeing what sort of angle doors open to to see if they'd fit in a cupboard etc.

And after I'd measured up the real product, got a model number, been talked at by a salesman, I would go online, google the model number and order it for £100 cheaper from somewhere else, with free delivery at my convenience and have it in stock that day (the amount of places like Currys etc. that DO NOT HAVE the things they have on the shop floor for you to take away - If you go to buy a freezer, say, the chances are you DON'T want to wait three weeks for it to arrive, you want to actually take it away from the shop that day).

To be fair, I didn't always go for the cheapest place online, and if the difference had been only £20 or so, it would be worth it to take it away that day. So Comet etc. had the opportunity to sell to me but had absolutely zero capability of doing so because their base prices were so ludicrous anyway. Sometimes it was cheaper to order the same model from John Lewis! I was literally in their store, measuring up, and they couldn't make a sale at a half-decent price or availability. No surprise they went bankrupt. And they weren't always like that.

Maplin - they fill a niche, like Tandy's used to. You can't pop into a shop and order one resistor, or a weird battery, or a PCB kit. You can in Maplin. And that's the sort of stuff that you don't want to mail-order because you'll invariably be in the middle of a job and need it there and then (like walking into Plumb Center and paying twice as much for a thermostat as you actually need - they work on the basis that local tradesmen need to do the job that same day). Their consumer stuff is generally overpriced but by the same token they do some good deals on basics, they do lots of odd things that you can't get cheaper anywhere else, and they do sales and vouchers all the time, not to mention their clearance buckets in store which I could spend whole afternoons digging through.

The biggest problem that's common to all these shops is, of course, their staff. Sure, there's probably one there who knows what they are talking about but the rest? They can't recognise knowledgable customers and dial-back the spin. They literally provide so much excrement in their sales pitches that, when my ex- used to do her mystery-shopping and audits on such chains and I was forced into them for hours on end, I would listen in purely as entertainment (and even had to steer customers away after they were given ATROCIOUS advice).

So I don't see what such chains had to offer in the last 10 years at least - no competent advice, no unique products, no better stock availability, no pricing advantage, constant harrassment by staff before, during and after purchase, nothing. I refer to them in work as my "demo" stores. That's where I go if I want to see a product in the flesh. But buy it from them?

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Mushroom

Dixons shareholders skip and clap their hands for joy

I don't know why. They're next.

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Boffin

Re: Dixons shareholders skip and clap their hands for joy

I don't know why either - Comet will be canibalising Dixons customers while they clear out stock at clearance prices...

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Terminator

First they came for Comet, but I didn't say anything because I didn't shop in Comet.

Then they came for Dixons, but I didn't say anything as I didn't shop in Dixons.

Then they came for John Lewis, and I didn't say anything because, well, I didn't shop in John Lewis

Then out came some new gadget that I thought I might like.

But there was nowhere left to go and see it

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Yeh, internet shopping is great! Order and pay for stuff sight unseen. Have it delivererd when you are out! # (with the option of collecting from the conveniantly located depot 30 miles away that is only open during working hours) and when the item turns out to be unsatifactory suffer the nightmare of trying to get a refund/exchange/whatever!

(# I do internet shopping of course, but I stick to companies that use Royal Mail as far as possible, that way if I have to collect stuff I can do it from the local PO not some depot in portsmouth or whatever)

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Mushroom

No reason to clap..

Dixon's shareholders have no reason to clap..Comet mirrored their style and look what's happened..they are now in Administration.

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Irony? Sarcasm? Satire?

"Apple building shimmering white stores that offer shoppers a 21st century shopping experience."

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Holmes

The writing has been on the wall for years

1. The stores have not had a lick of paint in years and kit is just displayed in rows. They had a look of a warehouse about them, dark and dingy too. At least with PC World their stores are a more pleasant experience and you are not chased around the store by staff trying to earn their bonuses.

2. Like Dixons they allude to Post christmas deals and their stores are heaving with shoppers who are fed up of turkey and Inlaws only too leave empty handed without finding any.

3. Goods are overpriced and lets face it you can get a TV, Microwave, Radio, PC , Ipod, Ipad and Camera from the Supermarket, whilst you do your food shop.

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Re: The writing has been on the wall for years

Don't know where your PC world is, but the one in Taunton is utterly depressing. Linear footage utilisation is so low it's unbelievable and makes it just look like an empty warehouse.

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Re: The writing has been on the wall for years

And I've never been in a PC World without being hounded constantly by staff.

I wouldn't mind, but I look more geeky than anyone from The Big Bang Theory - do you really think I need your help to buy a HDMI cable? (Not that I would - was once given a £5 voucher for PC World / Dixons and was unable to find a single product that it could buy - not even a pack of AA batteries or the things on clip strips near the till, nothing).

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Monster Cable

I blame this whole mess on that one spotty oik in that one store near me that tried to up-sell me a £70 gold plated HDMI Monster Cable that would make the £30 DVD player I was buying, produce a much better picture... idiot! I hope you are happy with what you've done...

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Bod

Fire sale coming up?

So now you'll be able to get your HDMI cables for half price. All of £50! ;)

Where do ex-Comet staff end up though. Always thought Dixons ones ended up in Halfords or Kwik Fit (as useless with bikes and cars as they are with TVs).

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Given that many PC world and Dixons shops have merged in many places and reduced their floor space already then the shrinking footfall market is nothing to be cheering at.Its going to be a hard cold winter of discontent in the electrical goods market now the chill of the shrinking spare change in the pocket has hit consumers badly.

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