Comet retail stores are set to shut their doors for the final time today, leaving taxpayers a £49.4m bill for unpaid redundancy payments
After 79 years of business, Comet is set to close its doors for the final time this evening, leaving unsecured creditors to swallow £223m of unpaid debts. Administrators, Delliotte, say the electrical retailer will not make enough either in last day sales or in administration to pay back the lengthy list of creditors, which includes landlords, goods suppliers and the Government in taxes.
Staff redundancies and unpaid taxes are set to cost the taxpayer around £49m, with £23.2m being earmarked by the Redundancy Payments Service for redundancy packets for former Comet staff members.
Comet entered administration last month and in the absence of a buyer, has been closing down stores in groups. Just 45 Comet retail outlets remain open from the 236 shops that existed when the retailer entered administration. Around 6,900 Comet employees will be out of work by the end of the day.
Comet, which was founded in 1933, is the biggest High Street retailer to go out of business since Woolworths shut down in 2008.