35 jobs lost as Festival Park Comet shuts down
DOZENS of jobs have been lost after a Comet store closed for the final time.
Shoppers flocked to the electrical retailer's Festival Park branch to pick up a bargain on the final day of its closing down sale.
Around 35 workers have been made redundant, along with 70 others at Comet branches in Trent Vale, Stafford and Crewe which shut earlier this month.
Colin Naylor, from Stone, was among scores of shoppers looking for a last-minute deal in the run up to Christmas.
The 52-year-old bought several halogen heaters for his three teenage daughters Zoe, aged 21, and twins Laura and Sarah, aged 20.
He said: "My daughters are at university and they always complain of being cold so I thought this would keep them happy.
"It is a real shame to see Comet go because it is the workers who have lost out.
"I can't help feeling that in the end it will be the public who foot the bill for the company's collapse."
The retailer appointed administrators last month, putting 6,895 jobs at risk.
Deloitte then announced the closure of the remaining 125 Comet stores last month.
The final 70 shut yesterday after stocks ran out.
Housewife Kerry Brown, of Westbourne Drive, Tunstall, said: "It is a big site and it's really sad to see people losing their jobs at this time of year.
"When we were shopping we could see that the staff were clearly upset. The girl on the till was almost in tears." Gemma Berrisford, pictured, aged 27, of West Heath, Congleton, has visited Comet stores in Crewe, Chester, Macclesfield and Oldham on their last days of trading.
The commercial cleaning worker said: "We have spent in the region of £3,000 on all sorts of equipment.
"Some of it has been for personal use like a new fridge freezer which had 20 per cent off and a dishwasher.
"While other things we will sell on eBay after the Christmas period.
"I'm sad to see the store closing and I think someone needs to be held responsible for its collapse.
"These are top quality brands and it's not that often that these types of shops shut."
Fellow shopper David Horvath, aged 47, from Kingsley, near Cheadle, added: "All the competition is being taken out of the market.
"I know a lot of shoppers turn to the internet but it stops any kind of interaction or customer service. It's sad to see Comet shut down."
The nationwide closures mark the end of the company's 79 years of trading.
And circumstances surrounding the company's demise will now be investigated by the Insolvency Service's investigations department.
The manager of the store did not wish to comment on the shop's demise.
But a worker, who asked not to be named, said: "It was a case of as soon as all the stock goes then the shop will shut.
"All the larger electrical items were sold weeks ago but it has been very busy with shoppers picking up last-minute items."
Did you join the bargain hunters?