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back to article Comet owner boosted by closure rumours

Kesa Electricals – the owner of Comet – has seen its shares jump almost 8 per cent today, on rumours that it may close the UK chain Comet and return to its roots in France. Kesa said last week that UK trading had been poor, while French revenue, through the Darty chain, was up 5 per cent despite the downturn. Group like-for-like …

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Ummm

I remember when you used to be able to go to a shop and buy stuff to take home, rather than having to order it online and wait in all day for it.

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Buying and collecting

You can't have it every way. Either you pay a higher price for someone to hold stock locally, or you must be prepared to wait until it can be delivered from a central warehouse.

It is only in the very rare situation where you will find a local retailer with products in stock, that they are prepared to sell at the same price as the large chains.

I must admit that having lost our local Currys during the sharp intake of breath DRG had when the credit crunch started, and also having lost our Woolworths, I am starting to look very favourably to our local independent electrical retailer, just to try to keep them in business and local. Yes, they're more expensive, but so is petrol, and my time is also precious. They will deliver exactly when I want, and also offer far more help and advice in fitting, often for free, than I got after paying for an installation service for my last cooker from one of the Nationals.

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You actually can do that from Comet

They operate a "shop is warehouse" policy similar to B&Q so for the more popular items you can actually go and get it there or collect it from there. I have found that extremely handy on a couple of occasions.

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Stop

Don't leave us, Comet!

If you pull out of the UK, I'll have to go somewhere else to look at consumer electronics in person before I buy them online from another retailer for 20% off your sticker price :(

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Happy

fixed that for ya

"from another retailer for 20% off your sticker price" should be

"from another retailer for 20% of your sticker price"

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Re Don't leave us, Comet!

The Currys next door will still be there.

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Currys, thanks, but no thanks

Curry's may be there, but that's one shop I'll never buy anything from. Their pricing borders on the illegal.

A few years back Which? gave a TV a top budget TV rating for its features at £725. Curry's price complete with large Which? winner logo: £1,125.....

CD Player MRRP: £99

Curry's price: £125

Response from salesmen when asked why it was higher than MRRP: "Well go somewhere else then".

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Re Currys, thanks, but no thanks

Who mentioned buying from them? Just using them as a showroom before buying on-line from someone else.

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TA1

true, but...

I sometimes do this, however if you have a problem after the sale, it is much easier to go into a store... I have seen some terrible online returns procedures in my time! :)

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Anonymous Coward

Good riddance.

Last time I bought anything from Comet it took over 7 days to turn up and could only be delivered on a Saturday morning as that was the only time the people from Bristol did the deliveries. When they hauled the washing machine up to my flat the packaging was mangled and the side of the machine was bashed in. Told them I didn't want it - much unhappy mumbling by delivery men who took it away.

Comet refused to deal with me on the phone and I had to go to the store in person where they told me it would be at least 2 weeks before they could get a replacement and deliver it. I told them I wanted my money back. I'd paid on a credit card and they seemed unwilling to do a credit refund and instead wanted to give me a cheque, or rather mail me a cheque in several days. I demanded a credit card refund which they did again after much complaining.

I walked round the corner to another store and bought a similar machine and they delivered it 2 hours later.

So much for "we live electricals" .... whatever that means.

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Wont be missed

Went to buy A VCR for £45and was almost sold an extended warranty for £35 (else she wouldnt check me out any sooner before i firmly portested and stopped her insistence on it).

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Anonymous Coward

Comet?

LOL last time I bought anything from them was 10 years ago. I dreaded just walking into their stores in case I was approached by one of their mindless sales droids.

However they do appear to be the best outlet for the Asus EEE Transformers, so interested parties better hurry up.

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the only time I bought anything from comet...

was a Windows ME specially discounted upgrade retail box ... thinking about that just made me throw up in my mouth 8-/

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Flame

Its just sad to see that the local independants have been crushed by Vomet and Slurrys

A local electrical retailer in West Cornwall went into administration over Easter. A very sad day as their prices were roughly the same as the likes of Slurrys and Vomet but their service was excellent. Mum bought a freezer from them last year and after a week it packed up. She called them first thing the next morning and within 3 hours a new replacement was being carried up the stairs. She also got money to cover the lost food even though she didn't have any fancy extended warranty. Nor had she been bullied into buying an extended warranty she didn't want. That service is why she always went there for stuff.

I, on the other hand, ordered a cooker from Vomet. The droids delivered and installed it (cost £65), but I only realised after they had left that they had mucked it up, and the oven part didn't work. Even though I called them within an hour of the droids leaving, it took them five days to come back and sort it.

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Anonymous Coward

You are lucky

A few years ago I spent 14 days arguing with the dolts from the local shop and their main office to honor an installation order for a built-in gas cooker. It took threatening them with trading standards for some bloke tattooed up to his nostrils (but otherwise knowing what he was doing) to be shipped from 75 miles away to install it.

Lesson learned - anything short of an emergency replacement that is needed tomorrow I now buy from places like Coop Electricals over the Internet.

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Re: You are lucky

Perhaps I should have suffixed a YMMV.

In my experience Vomet have been better than Slurry's; the latter only being useful for price match type comparisons as I'm allergic to overpriced optical cables, and warranties. Sadly there are no Coop Electricals around my way.

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Stop

Go to Best Buy in Southampton...

...and see how electrical retail should be done if it's not online.

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WTF?

@ Al 14

Are you serious? Best Buy here is the US not the way electrical retail should be done!

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Go

I went in for a 3 pin plug

And came out with a 60" plasma teevee. The extended wtee on the plug was £4.99

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No big loss.

Despite all the signs in store that said "take me home today", despite us being willing to take the display model that nobody would be able to see for 2 days as it was 3pm on Xmas Eve and that our fridge had packed up (taking the turkey et al with it) they wouldn't sell us a fridge.

Maybe they were getting their own back for me point out to a friend on a previous that you could buy the same item he was looking at for 20% less than the shop price, from their own website!

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Anonymous Coward

Comet & Darty?

I'm surprised to learn that they're both owned by the same company, because the shopping experiences are night and day. Well, maybe night & mid-morning :) Darty are usually competent and competitive on price, and their after sales service has always been good-to-acceptable. Comet are, well, Comet.

I'm not surprised by the revenue difference.

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Shame...

I bought a nice little mid range Acer laptop from their web site last year.. delivered quickly and at a decent price (much better than the equivalent spec at dabs or ebuyer). Hope they will at least keep the web site going.

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I would miss Comet

Honestly.

I like being able to turn up and buy a TV. Being able to browse a product in real life and get a feel for its build is better than anything the internet can offer. TV bought, home and set up in an hour. Rather than waiting 5 days for overpriced delivery from a surly driver.

As for the salespeople, just tell them to go away. It's not hard.... the word is "no", feel free to use it. Also, Darty is just as bad as anything we have in this country. I tried to buy a prepay mobile phone in their La Defense, Le Quatre Temps store last year and all I kept getting from the salesbot was "you can't buy one, if you are not a French resident". So I went next door to the Orange shop and bought one there, no hassles.

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re Badbob

While seeing things in real life is better, usually the TV's are set up very badly in the likes of Comet and you don't really get a feel as to what they're going to look like when your sitting on your sofa.

Forums such as AVforum can give far more incite into the suitability of a particular TV that 30 mins in a shop looking at one, although I do like to do both.

Delivery times are getting better and better with many online stores. I could order a TV from say Ebuyer at 10:55PM and for just £10 have it delivered the following day.

I just clicked on a random TV, selected 40" Samsung, first LCD TV in Comets list, LE40C530 , price £399.99. Have to order before 2pm if I want next day delivery and pay £20.50 for the privilege.

Total cost with next day del if ordered before 2pm from Comet, £420.99, total cost if collected from store, £399.99

Total cost of same TV including next day delivery from EBuyer if ordered before 6pm, £368.99, or if I order between 6pm and 11pm, it costs a whopping £1 more to get it delivered next day.

So if I order at 10:55pm today from Ebuyer, I can have it delivered tomorrow for £30 less than I could go to Comet and pick it up, plus I get the 7 day distance selling cooling off period.

I don't see the need to drive, get stuck in traffic, pay to park if it's a town centre, get hassled by staff who usually don't know what they are talking about, just to pay more for a product that I can order from the comfort of my living room .

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MrT
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Pint

Comet...

Good buy...

(Is that right? Something doesn't seem right...)

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MrT
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Bring on...

Buy More

Especially if we can all get to play with the CIA and NSA funded extras.

http://www.buy-more.net/

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Unhappy

I remember when Comet was Comet......

a small chain of "geniune" electrical warehouses in South Yorkshire, founded on supplying lead-acid batteries for the 'Wireless"

I bought my first HiFi turntable from them in Hull sometime in the late sixties or very early seventies. (A Goldring - my brother still has it!)

When I say 'genuine' warehouse - that's exactly what I mean.

The place in Hull was a warehouse with a hut inside it. You went to the hut with a copy of their catalogue (a sheet of A3 with hundreds of lines of 9pt type), told the man what you wanted and he went off with a fork-lift to find it.

When he came back, he filled out the paperwork and you paid him cash - something like a third less that you would pay in a shop.

I think that Comet's downfall was that it got too big after Kingfisher took it over and started the electrical superstore idea.

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dvd

me too

That's right - Comet was the place to buy when I was a teenager. It was cheaper by far than anywhere else. It's lost its way now ............

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Better than they were?

Much as it pains me to say it, 'coz I hated PC World, since our local PC World and Currys merged and refurbished, they are a *lot* better than in the old days. Best Buy started out well and have a good stock selection but after only 6 months our local BB store never has any checkouts manned and you have to queue at the returns desk to pay; on three consecutive occasions I have waited for 10-15 minutes to pay whilst off-duty staff (in uniform) have had staff discounts or something similar applied.

Not so sure about some local specialists being better than the big boys. Parents bought a digital TV HDD recorder from Currys, first one failed and was replaced, after 18 months of hastle with second one (no failures just difficult/clunky to use), took it back to Currys and complained, were told to choose any recorder they liked as a replacement. Parent's friends bought something similar from local specialist, after three weeks hard disk failed, returned it and were told it wouldn't be exchanged and would be sent off to manufacturer for repair, still waiting after another five weeks for it to come back.

Comet sucks royally though, can't say they'll be missed. Every time I've ever tried to buy anything it's never in stock.

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Z80

Before you give up on the UK Comet...

...try asking your staff not to take their cigarette breaks right outside the front door or hang around the tills chatting amongst themselves giving the impression they couldn't really give a shit.

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TA1
Welcome

more info...

stores are expensive to run nowadays.... most of the big electronics retailers in the UK are working with another company or are sharing services in order to provide a quality experience... seems as though Currys/PC World have responded to this problem.

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Surprisingly ....

I've found Comet not too bad in recent years and have spent several thousand pounds with them on white goods. Their online service has a very fair delivery policy even to areas of the country which most online suppliers surcharge viciously

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