back to article Comet sheds 450 jobs in biz survival struggle

Laid-up retailer Comet plans to axe 450 engineering and support workers, slashing costs and safeguarding "the long-term viability of the business", it said. The firm was finally sold a week ago to private equity house Op Capita for £2 with former parent Kesa Electricals also coughing £63m for a dowry, some £13m more than was …

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  1. LarsG

    SHEDS JOBS...

    to pay the copyright fines to Microsoft for bootlegging all those "recovery discs"

    Or

    Am I being cynical?

    1. Noodle Noggin

      @ KarsG

      Cynical? Probably. Sad? Yes, so very, very much so ...

  2. fatchap
    FAIL

    Long term?

    Because nothing says long term business like a bricks and mortar electronics retailer?

    1. Weeble

      Long Term Success

      "Because nothing says long term business like a bricks and mortar electronics retailer?"

      Depends whose success you're talking about.

      I'm sure that there are many successful on-line retailers that depend on peoples' ability to inspect the goods in Comet/Currys prior to making an on-line purchase.

      Or do you prefer to buy your TVs without ever seeing one (or a close equivalent)?

      1. Mark 65

        TVs probably aren't the best example for this behaviour as they are often appallingly badly setup in the stores with really garish settings. I was happy to buy mine off the internet after reading multiple reviews and round-ups from sources such as What Hi-Fi (minus ridiculously expensive cable hyperbole) . Had never seen it before. Thoroughly impressed with the item.

        1. Thomas 4

          Huh?

          "The VC last week brought in former Dixons bigwig John Clare as chairman to help turn around operations"

          Yes because Dixons is a roaring success right now isn't it.

  3. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    Fairly apt

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet#Fate_of_comets

  4. Charles Augustus Milverton
    FAIL

    It was John Clare who effectively killed off servicing by Dixon's "Mastercare" in house engineers. So much talent was wasted by that man. He almost killed off Dixons*, and now he will do his best to prevent any recovery by Comet.

    *some would say this is a good thing, and mostly it is - except when they were paying my wages !

  5. Silverburn
    Devil

    Lemme see...

    650 jobs to go...presumably that includes *all* the execs that turned a slowly-running-away-but-perfectly-saveable locomotive into an utter train wreck...?

    Oh look, there's a surprise.

  6. Alan Brown Silver badge

    engineering + support workers

    IOW the only real reason why people bothered at all with Comet.

    "They don't sell things, therefore they are useless"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Reaping The Fruits Of

    ...London finance. Saving banks with hundreds of billions eventually translates into real-world suffering.

    1. Mark 65

      Nothing to do with London finance or bank bailouts. Everything to do with overpaid executives that are utterly incompetent - the one thing they share - running a company into the ground. Fail to compete on price or value add -> fail financially.

  8. Adam Jarvis

    Ebay Outlet, Ebay sold as spares and repairs.

    I can see the logic in it, its better for their customers.

    Customer returns something faulty, its easier to replace the item, or replace item with graded stock. They can also charge the 'no quibble' type insurance premium, as though its some added extra, when it actually the norm, because the company has no means of offering repair.

    Comet or whoever then examine the item in terms of fault and quality, grade it - and either sell via the Ebay Outlet, or as Spares and Repairs on Ebay via a third party for someone to fix.

    Also they can set up a Spares Company, with over inflated prices, and said fixer pays a small premium to Comet to repair the device and either relist it as a refurb, on Ebay.

    Seems to be the new model, getting rid of 'in-house' repairs.

    1. kissingthecarpet
      Devil

      Example of some in-house "repairs"

      - friend goes into shop with laptop which actually just needs Vista reinstall/ factory restore. Told that he needs a new disc drive. Tells them he doesn't want one, they return machine. Brings it to me, ask me what to do, as it now won't boot. I discover hard drive is *missing*. He returns to shop, they say "Oh sorry, here's your disc, it was lying about in the back". Because they took it out before he agreed to anything & then didn't put it back. Disc had load of important personal stuff on it apparently, as one might expect.

      Really professional - they should be proud.

      Do factory restore on his laptop - its fine, that's all that was needed.

      *Never* ask any Dixons-related or similar high street shop to repair your machine. Unless you like paying for parts you don't need & not having your real problem fixed.

      1. Mark 65

        "*Never* ask any Dixons-related or similar high street shop to repair your machine. "

        Gary Glitter would certainly agree.

  9. Oldfogey
    FAIL

    I have no idea how good their repair guys are, as I haven't actually bought anything from them for years.

    But recently I was in urgent need of a new washing machine, so I checked t'internet, then went inot all the local stores to see what machines were available (relatively) locally. Comet had one we quite fancied, a bit over budget, but within the margin, so I found an assistant (which took far too long anyway) and asked about delivery.

    The answer was that "Premium" delivery would be done in only 6 working days, for a fee of £20.00, but I could have free delivery in about 5 weeks.

    It was probably rude, but we both burst out laughing, and left. Down the road in a small local store we found a perfectly satisfactory machine for 20% less, whcih was delivered free the next morning, installed, and the old one taken away.

    This sort of experience is normal in Comet (if you haven't left for lack of a sales assistant) and explains why they have been steadily going bust for years.

    1. melt

      I had pretty much the same experience.

      The point of the high street is that it satisfies an instant need. If I was willing to wait a few weeks for a delivery I would've ordered something from the internet!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Tw*ts

        I also bought a washing machine from Comet and took the option to have it fitted. They said if it was a replacement machine (ie. plumbing is in place) they'd fit the new machine for £x (can't remember x - it wasn't much), no fuss, no mess, no caveats, no ifs, no buts, no exceptions, no problems..... it WILL be fitted.

        They turned up and refused to fit. My plumbing has an extension hose present and they will not work with these.

        Spent an hour to the area manager who refused to budge on this contractual point that they had taken money and contracted to fit this machine using existing plumbing. Ended up fitting it myself (10 minute job).

        Companies like this deserve to die (sorry for any good staff they have; if any).

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