LONDON – British electrical retailer Comet has opened its doors for the final time after nearly 80 years.
The last 49 stores of what was a 235-strong chain are closing Tuesday after Comet's new owners failed to deal with a sour British economy and the online shopping revolution.
Its demise will cost 6,900 people their jobs, while the government will be left holding the bag for nearly 50 million pounds ($810 million) in unpaid taxes and the cost of paying off employees.
It is the largest retail failure in Britain since Woolworths' in 2009.
The future of Comet has been in doubt since French-based Kesa Electricals — now known as Darty — sold Comet for 2 pounds last year to Hailey Holdings and gave the buyers a dowry of 50 million pounds.