Comet closes for good, as government investigation begins

The Comet sale closes its doors today as the final shops shut. But the government wants to make sure all is in order.

Comet is closing for good today, shutting its doors for the last time and concluding its everything-must-go sale with 50 per cent discounts.

Only 49 of Comet's 236 shops made it to this stage, but after tomorrow the UK's long-running retail chain will be no more, as administrator Deloitte has failed to find a buyer for the ailing firm.

If you act today, you'll be able to snap up what's left of Comet's stock at half price, with 50 per cent off everything -- except TVs, laptops and Apple products -- which the doomed retailer obviously thinks are too valuable to give away at slashed prices.

The Comet brand could be sold to an online retailer, the BBC reports, allowing the chain to live on -- in name at least -- on the Internet.

Comet's disastrous fall to Earth has left many people out of pocket, including you, the taxpayer. A £49.4m bill for unpaid redundancy and tax payments will have to be picked up by the public, as the winding down of Comet has failed to generate much cash.

Government investigation

The government is looking into the demise of the bricks-and-mortar business, The Telegraph reports, with the enquiry said to focus particularly on Comet's acquisition in 2011, when it was bought for a mere £2 .

A report from Deloitte showed that Hailey Acquisitions Limited -- a vehicle set up by firm OpCapita to buy Comet -- received £11.5m in interest and arrangement payments. Comet failed less than a year after being acquired by OpCapita and pals.

Will you miss Comet? Or is online shopping an inevitable change in the way we buy tech? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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