SCORES of Hampshire workers are facing uncertain futures today in the run up to Christmas after Comet announced it was closing 125 more stores.
The stricken electrics giant went into administration earlier this month, after it was hit by tough trading conditions, competition from online rivals and being unable to secure the trade credit insurance needed to safeguard suppliers.
Administrator Deloitte has already announced plans to axe 41 stores across the country.
And last week it was revealed that the axe was to fall on nearly 50 jobs at the Hedge End delivery depot when it begins operating with a “significantly reduced” workforce.
A further 125 stores have now been earmarked for closure across the country “over several weeks” with the remaining 70 outlets remaining open “until all the remaining stock is sold”.
There are currently five shops across Hampshire that employ 129 people, including at Auckland Road in Southampton, Woodside Avenue in Eastleigh and Southampton Road, Park Gate.
Deloittes claim a “small number of interested parties” remain interested in saving the chain.
The comment comes amid reports Southampton-based entrepreneur Clive Coombes was looking to launch a last-ditch attempt to snap up the firm.
Chris Farrington from Deloitte said: “Should any acceptable offers be received for stores we will delay the closure process.
“Unfortunately, in the absence of a firm offer for the whole of the business, it has become necessary to begin making plans in case a sale is not concluded. If a sale is not possible we would envisage stores to begin closing in December.
“A dedicated helpline is in place for all employees and the Company is running an Employee Assistance Programme to help those staff made redundant find other jobs.
“As part of this programme, the Company has established relationships with more than 35 prospective employers who are keen to offer roles to ex-Comet employees, and is actively working to introduce redundant Comet employees to these employers.
“We will also be organising a series of employment fairs around the country during the New Year to assist any Comet staff who have been made redundant and remain out of work.”