Christmas 'heartbreak' as Comet closes

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 December 2012

Archant

FORMER employees of Comet have spoken of their 'heartbreak' at seeing the store close, with more than 20 Weston staff being made redundant just days before Christmas.

The store at Flowerdown Retail Park was closed this month, leaving all its workers out of a job.

The closure comes after weeks of speculation over the electrical giant’s future, since it was placed into administration on November 1.

The company was sold to OpCapita at the beginning of the year by Kesa, which paid it a £50million dowry to take it on for a token £2.

But the takeover failed to spark a revival in Comet’s fortunes and the Weston shop was closed on December 1, leaving 22 employees to look for a new job.

Former manager Kris Miller, whose daughter Beth was made redundant last week, said he left voluntarily in April after 15 years of employment as cuts to staffing numbers began.

He said: “It has been heartbreaking to see it go as we always thought it was a really strong company. We never thought this would happen.

“It is such a shame. This ought to have been the company’s best time of the year. Normally the store would have been rammed.”

And he said the closure had upset his 17-year-old daughter who worked there part-time and made a number of friends.

Kris, aged 38, now works for the National Autistic Society and says he loves his new role.

But he keeps in contact with his former colleagues and is pleased many of them have managed to find new jobs quickly.

James Darlison will start working at Glentworth Lettings in Weston from next month after he was made redundant last week.

The 33-year-old, who lives in Burnham, worked for Comet for five years and said staff morale hit rock bottom by the end.

He said: “Normally it was quite a fun site to work on but by the end staff didn’t want to come in.

“It is never a nice time to be made redundant, but in the run-up to Christmas just makes it that bit worse.”

All Comet’s stores have now ceased trading, with the final ones closing on Tuesday.

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