'Fears For 5,000 Comet Jobs Before Christmas'

(c) Sky News 2012

Comet's staff have been informed they could be made redundant before Christmas amid plans to close stores by December 18, according to reports.

If a buyer is not found for the embattled retailer - which called in the administrators earlier this month - some 5,000 jobs could go, The Sun said.

The paper also reported that a memo reveals Comet's distribution centre in Harlow, Essex, will close at the end of the week.

It comes as entrepreneur Clive Coombes prepares for talks with the administrator about buying 180 of Comet's stores, The Sun said.

But Deloitte said the "chances of an acceptable offer" from the business-turnaround specialist are slim, The Sun added.

The administrator told the newspaper it has to "begin taking the necessary steps to best realise the remaining stock and exit from all the remaining stores".

Deloitte told Sky News it would release an update on Comet this morning.

Since it was appointed to work for the electricals chain, some 1,500 jobs have already been axed.

It is continuing to search for a buyer for the business, but has so far failed to clinch a rescue deal.

Last week, the entrepreneur behind Appliances Online confirmed he had tabled a bid for Comet's web-based operations.

John Roberts said he had put in a "seven-figure offer" for Comet's website - although if accepted, the deal would see the business disappear from the UK's high streets.

Deloitte was not available for comment.

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