Confusion over Comet in Worthing as “Store Closing Down” signs emerge

The future of Worthing’s Comet store in Teville Gate remains uncertain, as “closing down sale” signs appeared on its front windows.

With the chain going into administration this month, there have already been store closures in Brighton and Crawley.

Shoppers at the Worthing store were left confused by the closing signs, with administrators Deloitte stating it was not one of the 40 sites which are slated for closure. They revealed that a buyer is still being sought for the company.

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More than 600 jobs from its 6,000 strong workforce across England have already been lost as the firm struggles to see if an 11th-hour deal can be found to avoid its collapse.

The Worthing store has been at Teville Gate for the past 20 years and had been looking at alternate sites with the expected regeneration of the site for a £150m pound mixed development.

But since being recently taken over by a finance company, the firm has failed to perform and is reportedly carrying debts of around £30 million in trading losses from 2011.

With financially-constrained customers demanding ever more competitive pricing, many observers had noted Comet had fallen behind some of its rivals in recent years.

It has also been widely reported that the firm had failed to maximise its online business, which also impacted on its figures. The Herald approached the Worthing branch for comment to confirm how many jobs are at risk, but we were referred to the administrators. Deloitte confirmed that the Worthing branch is not presently scheduled to close.