Uncertain future for brand store

Comet could close in Chorley
Comet could close in Chorley
Share this article

The future of a national chain in Chorley faces an uncertain future.

The Comet store, on the Highfield Industrial Estate, in North Street, has been named as one of 22 in the country that are being offered for sale to potential buyers.

It comes after the struggling electricals chain was formally put up for sale on Wednesday by its French owner, Kesa.

In total there are 248 chains nationwide, which employ 10,000 staff, but the firm reported losses of £9m last year.

The Chorley store has been revealed on a list that also includes neighbouring Blackburn and Bolton sites.The news will come as a blow for the town, which also saw the loss of High Street brand Burton just weeks ago.

Malcolm Allen, chair of the Chorley Traders’ Alliance said: “There is no doubt that any big name leaving Chorley is not good news.What it does shows is the need for a strong independent base in the town and that is what the success of Chorley is built on.

“The long-standing businesses are trying their best to weather the storm and don’t just leave on a whim like the nationals seem able to do.

“The Comet store is in a prime business position, but with it’s rival Curry’s being so close by it was always going to be difficult as they are fighting for the same pound.

“It’s really important that shoppers support their town so that we can encourage more businesses to open instead of closing.”

The Comet store specialises in electrical goods and sells everything from fridges to freezers, computers, televisions and small appliances.

Reacting to the news, Mick Taylor of the Domestic Appliance Centre, in New Market Street, said: “If Comet did close then it would certainly be good news for us as it would draw more trade into the town centre.

“There’s no doubt that it’s a tough market that we are in and it’s not easy, but we are taking it day-by-day and have a good base of regular customers and business from recommendations.”

A spokesman for Comet said that the list was an internal document that had been offered to estate agents, but was only in its very early form.

They added: “Comet doesn’t have a large scale store closure programme in place and up to now nine stores could close over the year. It is far too early to say which stores those might be and if anything was to happen our staff would be the first to know.

“We will be communicating any possible store closures to them at the earliest opportunity.”