Clive Coombes, who previously failed to save the electrical retailer Comet as it collapsed last November, has announced his plans to launch the new retailer ‘Meridian Comet’ this autumn.
Outlining his plans to possible investors online, Coombes explains the merging of his existing companies Meridian Wholesale Ltd and Comet Electrical Distributers Ltd into the rebranded Meridian Comet.
Hoping to fund the sprouting company ‘not from the conventional method of bank borrowings’ but instead by offering the chance to purchase a direct share, Coombes advertises the ‘potential to receive a return that no individual with limited funds could ever achieve.’
He goes on to promise investors an ‘immediate return’ once a targeted eighty stores covering the South, South-West and Midlands has been achieved, at which point the group would be floated on the UK stock market via the ‘lucrative AIM’.
Coombes expresses the proposed expansion as taking two years, with the group’s business model showing up to ten stores being opened every three months. South-East locations for the proposed 80 stores are currently being scouted.
Speaking to Retail Week, Coombes expressed optimism in Meridian Comet’s reliance on smaller high street stores with reduced stock, blaming some of Comet’s failure on its 12,000 sq ft retail park locations. Among other proposed changes is the offering of drinks to shoppers and the presence of areas dedicated to allowing customers to play on the latest game consoles.
Comet’s remaining stores opened their doors for the final time last December, following nearly two decades of losses. Its closure resulted in the loss of 6,600 jobs, adding to a tough year for British high-street retailers including GAME and HMV who, like Comet, appointed Deloitte as their administrator.
Meanwhile, former Comet rival Dixons announced in June that it had adopted 30% of Comet’s abandoned market share.