Comet’s new owner has taken the axe to 450 jobs as it seeks to turn around the ailing electricals business, it is understood.

Repair staff and support workers were made redundant yesterday, according to The Sun.

Comet said it wanted to focus on “what it does best”, which it cited as selling and customer service.

A Comet spokesman said it is therefore scaling back its engineering arm. “We’re moving away from areas we don’t have expertise in,” the Comet spokesman said.

He also added that more staff would be employed on the shop floor, and that the retailer will invest more in training.

To save money the retailer is also thought to be altering the way it delivers, and is now franchising the process, with drivers effectively working for themselves. Comet said it has trialled the system but has not yet decided whether to roll it out.

Comet was sold by French retailer Kesa this month to private quity firm OpCapita, in a deal worth £2.

In a statement Comet said the move was part of a wider strategic review of its business.

It said: “Comet has announced proposals to align with other electrical retailers by reducing its investment in electrical field repairs to focus resources more single-mindedly on store operations.”

Comet chief executive Bob Darke said: “The proposal to reduce staff numbers has been a very tough decision to make.

“But significant savings are required to secure the long-term viability of our business.”