Electricals giant Comet has taken the battle to deadly rival DSGi by opening two trial city centre stores.

The stores, on Briggate in Leeds and in Manchester’s Arndale Centre, opened three weeks ago. They feature primarily brown and grey goods, such as TVs, as well as seasonal lines and smaller essentials. However, the full Comet range is available to order for delivery.

The stores mark a massive shift back in the prevailing thinking about electricals retail, which has seen a shift towards out-of-town stores over the past two decades. A Comet spokeswoman said the trial was about “striving to be accessible to everyone,” adding: “Our high street offering enables us to reach new customers, and gives them another convenient way to shop with us.”

The Leeds store is located close to one of DSGi’s Currys Digital stores. Over two small floors with about 5,000 sq ft of selling space, the store features an unusually high number of staff with a strong focus on customer service.

While Comet has had no high street stores in the UK, its Anglo-French parent Kesa is no stranger to high street stores. In France, its Darty brand is a common sight on high streets around the country.

➤Comet has launched a mobile-friendly version of its website. It claims to be the first multichannel electricals retailer to launch a site that allows customers to reserve a product online from their phone and collect it from a local store 30 minutes later.