Comet sale will honour gift cards as Dixons tries to save staff

Despite earlier fears, the ailing retailer's upcoming fire sale will see vouchers and gift cards honoured.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
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.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Update 9 November: Comet's sale is now open, but only in stores, not online. Original story follows.

Ailing retailer Comet will accept gift cards during its upcoming fire sale, despite earlier fears that vouchers or gift cards would be rendered useless.

Deloitte -- the company overseeing Comet's mournful journey into administration -- has confirmed that gift cards will be honoured. In a post titled 'Comet in Administration - update on gift cards', Deloitte's Neville Kahn claims that the suspension of gift cards was "temporary".

"Having now had the opportunity to do so," Kahn is quoted as saying, "We are very pleased to inform Comet customers that the Company will be able to accept gift cards which have been purchased and paid for in full by members of the public."

The statement continues, "We are also pleased to announce that the Company will be able to accept and honour gift cards issued on behalf of the charity Family Fund," but insists that gift cards issued by corporate entities such as insurers will stay banned for now, until Deloitte can figure out whether or not Comet has been paid in full for those cards.

As you might have surmised, Deloitte -- which is in charge of shifting Comet onto an even keel and finding a buyer for the floundering tech giant -- seems to have been concerned that if there were too many gift cards in circulation, it could have caused a rush of no-payment purchases that would have left Comet's accountants feeling queasy.

Deloitte says it suspended gift cards to allow time to "assess the financial position of the company and collate information about the quantity, value and nature of gift cards in circulation".

Meanwhile, Dixons has said that it will try to save some of Comet's 6,500 staff, who are facing unemployment. The boss of Dixons Retail -- which owns Currys and PC World -- told the Sun, "We are hoping to get as many of the staff at Comet on board for Christmas - and hopefully beyond."

The company is looking for 2,000 Christmas staff, but has delayed the hiring binge on account of Comet's woes. It's reported that up to 2,000 staff could be rescued in the move.

Comet has promised that its sale will be "starting soon", an event that will give shoppers a chance to snap up remaining stock at bargain prices.

A year ago Comet was sold to an investment firm for a mere £2, but has failed to turn around losses and has now entered administration.

What do you think about Comet's waning star? Is there anything in particular you're hoping to nab in the upcoming sale? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.