PROSPECTS look increasingly bleak for the future of a Huddersfield electrical store.
Staff at retail chain Comet have been dealt a pre-Christmas blow after administrators announced a further 125 stores will close.
And Deloitte said it would only keep the remaining 70 stores open until all remaining stock was sold.
Deloitte has not confirmed which stores will be axed among the 125, but the remaining stores include the Comet outlet at Leeds Road in Huddersfield, employing about 40 people.
About 5,000 employees work across the 195 Comet stores – with more than 3,000 jobs expected to be affected by the decision to shut 125 shops.
Deloitte confirmed it was still in talks with a “small number” of interested buyers – holding out a slim hope that the Huddersfield shop may be among any stores saved.
But the administrators said it was necessary to begin shutting shops in the absence of a firm offer for the whole business.
Deloitte also plans to close the company’s distribution centre in Harlow, Essex, tomorrow and will make further cuts among “back office” staff at Hull, Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire and Clevedon, Somerset.
The latest announcement comes after it emerged Southampton-based entrepreneur Clive Coombes was considering making a bid.
Last week, Appliances Online founder John Roberts said he had tabled a “seven-figure offer” for Comet’s website.
Chris Farrington, joint administrator, confirmed: “We remain in discussions with a small number of interested parties and hope that a positive outcome can still be achieved.
“Should any acceptable offers be received for stores we will delay the closure process.
“Unfortunately, in the absence of a firm offer for the whole of the business, it has become necessary to begin making plans in case a sale is not concluded. If a sale is not possible we would envisage stores to begin closing in December.”
He said: “We remain extremely grateful to the company’s employees for their commitment and support during a period of concern and anxiety for them.
“All employees will be paid for the work they do while the company is in administration and I can confirm that any accrued holiday pay, overtime and bonus earned during the administration trading period, together with the pre-administration bonus that was owed to employees at the time of our appointment, will be paid to employees as previously stated.”