As the shutters come down on Comet’s remaining stores, Retail Week charts the collapsed electricals retailer’s history

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1933

Founded by the Hollingberry family, who begin charging batteries and accumulators for customer wireless sets. They move into selling and renting radios in the 1940s and other electrical goods in the 1950s. Based in Hull, Comet itself was created in 1961.

1968

Pioneers of out-of-town electrical retailing – the first Comet superstore opens in Hull.

1970

The company goes public.

1984

£129m take-over by Kingfisher

1996

Comet acquires Norweb Retail and increases its store portfolio to over 250 stores nationwide.

1999

Comet launches its first transactional website

2003

Kingfisher creates Kingfisher Electricals SA (Kesa), putting its UK and continental European electricals retailing interests into a single business, operationally based in Paris

2006

Comet rejects an approach by a private equity consortium that valued the business at £1.7bn

2007

Click and collect launched

2008

Next day delivery launched

2009

In response to a dip in sales, Comet implements a series of cost-reducing measures, including a reduction in staffing levels

2010

Comet refreshes brand including the introduction of a new logo, TV advertising campaign with “Come and Play” strapline, point of sale materials in-store and updated website.

US electricals giant Best Buy opens its first UK

2011

Comet managing director exits in May amid a like-for-like plummet of 15% over the final quarter of 2010/11. He is replaced by Bob Darke, a Kingfisher veteran

Kesa confirms it has put Comet up for sale in June

Comet is acquired by private investment firm OpCapita for £2 in November

2012

January 15 – Best Buy closes its 11 UK stores

January 26 – Former Dixons boss John Clare becomes Comet chairman

February 3 – OpCapita completes Comet acquisition

February 10 – OpCapita axes 450 repair and support roles

February 24 – Comet starts consultation to close its Hull call centre

March 21 – Comet earmarks 60 shops for closure to slash costs

November 2 – Comet plunges into administration

November 9 – Littlewoods owner Shop Direct emerges as a potential bidder for the electricals chain’s website

November 22 – Etailer DRL reveals it is bidding for Comet’s website

November 27 - Entrepreneur Clive Coombes emerges as a potential bidder for the electricals retailer

Today – Comet leaves the high street as all stores close and Business secretary Vince Cable launches an investigation into OpCapita’s acquisition of the chain