Records of Comet Group PLC



Admin History:

Founded in 1933 in Hull by George Hollingbery, the company had its first years of existence under the name Comet Battery Stores providing a battery recharging service to wireless radio customers. The company had a small fleet of vans to deliver the recharged batteries to its customers and operated out of Dock Street, Hull. The business prospered and began to provide customers with radio rentals under the name of Comet Radio Services. In the 1950s the first store was opened in George Street, Hull, followed by two more in Driffield and Bridlington. In 1968 the first out of town retail store was opened in Hull on Clough Road selling televisions and radios, followed by another in Leeds in 1969 and the Company was then renamed Comet Radiovision Services. In 1982 a resolution was passed changing the company's name once again, this time to Comet Group PLC under which name it continued to trade until it filed for administration in November 1912.

During the 1970s and 1980s the company had competition from a number of growing companies also providing electrical goods. One such company was Lasky's which Comet bought out in 1989. In 1972 Comet became a publicly traded company and shares began to be sold in the business. In 1984 Woolworths owned by Paternoster Stores (later Kingfisher) bought Comet from the Hollingbery family although the head of the family Michael Hollingbery remained in place as chairman. In 1996 Kingfisher bought the electrical retailer Norweb and merged it with Comet. However Comet was perfoming poorly and in 2003 part of the Kingfisher company including the Comet Group was demerged and renamed KESA Electricals. Comet continued to make a loss and in November 2011 KESA sold the company to investment firm OpCapita. Comet lasted a further year before announcing it was filing for administration in November 2012. Deloitte were appointed as administrators and by December 2012 all Comet stores had closed.

Collection contains records of Comet Group PLC, formerly trading under the names Comet Radiovision Services Limited, Comet Radio Services Limited, and its original name of Comet Battery Service Limited. Records include company minute books 1972-2003 [C DBCO/1], subsidiary company minute books 1973-2003 [C DBCO/2], estates department files 1970s-2000s [C DBCO/3], legal department files 1933-2004 [C DBCO/4], financial records 1972-2004 [C DBCO/5], human resources records c.1970s-1990s [C DBCO/6], and some miscellaneous material 1974-2009 [C DBCO/7]. Please note that most of the material relates to the 1970s onwards and that the only material relating to the early years of Comet is a General Register dating from the inception of the business in 1933 under the name of Comet Battery Service Limited [C DBCO/4/17].