Would-be Comet white knight Clive Coombes is still aiming to buy the Comet brand after lodging four failed bids to buy the collapsed retailer since it went bust in November.
Coombes told Retail Week that he is still in talks with administrator Deloitte to secure the Comet brand name and said that he, along with electricals wholesalers Meridian, plan to use the Comet name to badge a new chain of stores.
The first store is due to open in Christchurch, Bournemouth at the end of February selling white goods, TVs and computers. If the Comet name cannot be secured the store will trade under the Meridian brand, said Coombes.
Coombes told Retail Week: “You need a new way of selling electricals goods to compete with retailers selling online. We are looking at having a string of stores which will have coffee shops and gaming areas to allow people to try before they buy.
“Everyone is going online because it’s cheaper but in store we can offer the service and experience to make people want to come and shop.”
Coombes, backed by Meridian, aimed to buy Comet out of administration and was poised to plough more than £15m into it. However, four bids were rejected by Deloitte.
Coombes said: “We put four bids together in total. We were doing due diligence at Comet’s head office and then it died a death. I feel sorry for the staff.”
It is understood Meridian, led by director Tim Carr, is in talks with mobile phone specialist Phones 4U about it hosting concessions in the new stores.
Comet closed its final stores on December 18 after falling into administration the previous month at the loss of almost 7,000 jobs.