Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comet - end of an era!

Today the electrical retailer Comet closes for the final time.

Electrical stores came and went, but Comet was always there. I bought lots of stuff at Comet and sometimes prefered it to Currys and Dixons. I must admit that recently I have avoided going into Comet because of the vast number of staff in orange shirts that follow you around and asking if everything is alright. I hate that! I just want to be left alone and browse, maybe that was one of it's downfalls.
Comet has been around for 78 years, but it has changed it's spots many times. In the 70's Comet and Trident opened up stores out of town to sell discounted electrical goods. I worked at the main warehouse for Trident Stores then and I saw the way that the market was changing. The Managing Director of Trident, Angus Gosman, got together with the Managing Director of Comet at the time to try to stop price fixing by manufacturers on Japanese goods. Of course the manufactures deny that this happens, but we all know it's true.

For years I worked in parallel with Comet at Telefusion and TAM Techserve because they ran very similar businesses and services, but the in the 80's and 90's things changed again. Telefusion was taken over by Visionhire and closed down all the cash and carry electrical stores of Telefusion, which was then called 'Connect'. Comet continued, but then they became the victim of Woolworths. The stores survived and carried on with the cash and carry stores until today.

They tried hard, but how can you compete these days with on-line shopping and no orange shirts following you around. In the end Comet got it wrong, there will be others that will follow soon...just watch! 

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