Comet to close doors of Hull shops for last time
ELECTRICAL giant Comet will disappear from the high street today.
Stores at St Andrews Quay and Kingswood will close their doors for the last time tonight after selling all remaining stock at marked down prices.
The Hull-founded electricals chain was put into administration last month and with some stores closing immediately.
Yesterday, many of the fixtures and fittings at the St Andrew's Quay store had already been taken away.
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Shelves at the back of the store had been dismantled and all remaining stock was piled up together on nearly bare shelves at the entrance.
Shoppers told the Mail they felt bad for taking advantage of the closing down sale while staff were losing their jobs.
Adam Hollins, 41, bought a 16in TV and DVD combi for £59.99, reduced from £99, and also bought a wall bracket for it.
He said: "I felt like a vulture shopping in there while all the staff are losing their jobs.
"It's very sad and a reflection on the declining British economy.
"I think it's also as a result of people doing more internet shopping and it was just a great shame it couldn't be saved.
"You really do feel for the staff."
Wendy Carew, 59, of east Hull said: "It's really depressing in there. We said we felt like we were robbing off the staff.
"It seems to be happening everywhere with places closing down. It's really sad."
Some former staff are calling for a Government investigation into the closure of the chain.
Many of the workers don't accept administration was inevitable.
Under insolvency law, all the workers will get statutory redundancy paid by the Government and they could also be due a payment for the lack of consultation.
Workers want to know why the law allows investors to walk away and leave the taxpayer to pick up the redundancy bill.
However, staff in Hull were unable to comment. They been told by head office they were not allowed to talk to the press. One worker claimed staff wouldn't want to jeopardise any redundancy pay or bonus by talking to us.
However, another staff member, who did not wish to be named, said he would be taking the firm to an employment tribunal due to the lack of a consultation period.
He said: "I was one of the 735 staff they got rid of on November 13.
"We expect to get our redundancy paid by the Government.
"However, I'm also taking them to an employment tribunal as there was no consultation period.
"All the staff feel very let down by the firm.
"It's nice to have Christmas off, I've done all my Christmas shopping early, but reality will hit in January. I'm on the dole now."
If an employment tribunal finds in the favour of the staff, payments could be paid from the public purse.
The closure of the stores comes after the call centre closed in February.