Pundits called him 'Comet’s White Knight' last year. Now, as entrepreneur Clive Coombes gets ready to launch a new chain of electrical stores under the Comet name, they might just be right.
Property tycoon Coombes has announced his plans to open a chain of 80 electrical stores, to be named Meridian Comet. This follows his failed attempt to acquire the chain after its collapse in November 2012.
Coombes has revealed plans to open its first store in the next two months, in the south west, as he attempts to fill the chasm left by the collapse of the electrical giant.
‘The UK market for white goods and multimedia equipment is enormous,’ says the Meridian Comet website.
‘Valued in excess of £3.8 billion annually and ever growing…it doesn’t take a genius to realise the void…[left by] the original Comet chain [once] removed from our High Street, it leaves a massive opportunity [to] run [stores in] the old fashioned way that people yearn for and with prices that can't be matched.’
The entrepreneur has expressed plans to build the business through private investment before listing the new chain on AIM - although he says he's had to seek legal advice about using the Comet name, as the store remains in administration in the hands of Deloitte. The firm has refused to comment (on of off the record) on how Coombes would be able to use the Comet name in his latest venture. According to the Meridian Comet site, Coombes has merged ‘two companies under his control, Meridian Wholesale Ltd and Comet Electrical Distributors Ltd,’ to create the new brand.
How does the entrepreneur think he can succeed where many others have failed and take on internet behemoths such as Amazon? Well…games and soft drinks is the answer. Coombes has outlined his intention to open much smaller stores than the original Comet and to offer both soft drinks and ‘play areas’ where customers can try out the latest consoles
‘Remember when shopping was fun?’ Asks the Meridian Comet site. Whether you do remember such a time, or you have simply never enjoyed traipsing around the shops, it looks like Coombes it going to try and show you a good time.
Fun. Coming soon to a Comet near you.