Home » Articles, Company Profile, Europe, Retailing » If Comet Goes Under, Will UK Shoppers Miss It?


November 8, 2012

If Comet Goes Under, Will UK Shoppers Miss It?

Bar code

Analyst Insight by Antonia Branston, Senior Analyst - Retailing, at Euromonitor International

As news filters through of Comet’s likely plunge into administration, Twitter is full of advice for people holding gift cards – spend them now! – and speculation over when the closing down sale will begin. One thing is for sure: If Comet does go into liquidation, UK shoppers will snap up its final remains like hungry vultures.

Some would say that the writing was on the wall for the chain, even before Kesa practically gave it to private equity firm OpCapita in February, after years of falling sales and declining market share. In July, OpCapita reported that its new low-price strategy seemed to be working, but demands from suppliers for payment upfront in the run-up to Christmas look set to signal the end of the group. Comet has 240 stores to support and a lacklustre image amongst consumers in an electronics and appliance retail environment that – as Best Buy found to its cost – values price above all else.

But once the thrill of bagging the closing-down sale bargains has passed, UK consumers, and indeed all parts of the retail chain, may well miss Comet. Consumers will see choice lessen and prices climb as retail competition begins to fall away. Online-only specialists and manufacturers will find it a harder sell with 240 fewer stores in which to display physical products.

If Comet goes…what happens to Currys?

If Currys finds itself as last-man-standing in big box electronics and appliance retail, it needs to investigate new income streams, particularly since Best Buy demonstrated that improving the store experience and the quality of after sales care is not enough to make UK shoppers look beyond price.  It could look at partnering up with internet retailers who would benefit from being able to offer ‘click and collect’ fulfilment, perhaps on a commission basis; similarly, its status as the last ‘showroom’ chain could be put on a more official, revenue earning basis, with manufacturers renting floor space within the stores. It could also investigate different retail models, such as Brighthouse’s pay-by-instalments format. For Comet, it looks as though time for creating a future-proof business model has just run out.


« Will Strong Growth Alleviate Fears of Double-Dip Recession? | Main | Despite North American Decline, Fresh Meat grows on a Global Level »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Subscribe

 RSS Feed

Receive New Posts via Email:

 

Join us on...


View our YouTube Channel Follow Euromonitor on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Connect with Euromonitor on LinkedIn

Filter by Category

Filter by Geography

Filter by Industry

Recent Posts

WTM Global Trends Report by Euromonitor Predicts Future Trends

Will the Ipad Air 2 Become the Must Have Travel Accessory?

Can Tea Take Occasions Away From Coffee?

Five Global Mobile Payments Trends in 2014

Emerging Markets are not Shorthand for Doom or Boon

Euromonitor participa da PayTECH no Brasil

Asia Pacific's Top 500 Retailers, 2014

Euromonitor International Interview Series: Kelly McGuire, Ph.D. Executive Director, Hospitality and Travel Global Practice for SAS

Sound Bite: The Implications of Infant Formula Scandals in China

Euromonitor to Speak at UBIFrance 2014