Electricals retailer Comet is likely to file an intention to appoint an administrator as early as tomorrow (Thursday), putting 7,000 jobs at risk, Retail Week can reveal.
Although Comet has traded well under OpCapita’s ownership, it is understood that there has been a further withdrawal of credit insurance in recent weeks, which has made it impossible for the retailer to bring in sufficient stock for the vital Christmas trading season.
A fortnight ago it emerged that there had been unsolicited acquisition interest in Comet, but the uncertainty arising from the possibility of a change of control is understood to have alarmed credit insurers.
It is unclear whether the administration of Comet would be a precursor to a sale, or spark a disposal of assets such as property to other retailers.
In July there was optimism that Comet was successfully being turned around. OpCapita had parachuted in former Dixons chief executive John Clare as chairman of Comet and he was hopeful that the loss-making retailer might be back in the black this financial year.
However, OpCapita’s efforts – including cost-efficiencies and improved retail disciplines – now look likely to come to nought.
Comet has 240 shops and employs 7,000 people.