Comet crashes – but not all the blame lies with Amazon

2 Nov

Another one bites the dust, and only one word is required: Amazon. Overnight, websites like Amazon brought price transparency – and deflation – to the rich pickings that were once the electricals market. An almighty reckoning has taken place as a revolution in shopping habits and the squeeze on household budgets has seen consumers turn to the web for the best deal or cancel purchases of such non-essentials as a new television.

Retail analysts Conlumino think the home retail market, which takes in DIY, electricals, furniture and homewares, has shrunk by £9bn in the last four years – with sales of electricals tumbling by 16%.

But Comet’s problems can’t just be blamed on the internet and the mother of all high-street downturns. It lost its way a decade ago and has serially disappointed customers on basic retail housekeeping.

While rival Dixons, which has been wrestling its own financial demons, has pumped millions into store revamps and staff training to banish its reputation for poor customer service, Comet’s attempts to improve the shopper experience have been dismal. If a retailer doesn’t even meet shoppers halfway, it is driving customers into Amazon’s arms.


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