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Electricals chain Comet today which has stores in Derbyshire & Sheffield, looked to be on the brink of administration in a move threatening an estimated 6,000 jobs.
The company's demise, which is expected to be confirmed later today, will represent one of the biggest failures on the high street in recent years.
Comet was bought for a nominal £2 by investment firm OpCapita earlier this year but has been unable to secure the trade credit insurance needed to safeguard suppliers.
Restructuring specialist Deloitte has reportedly been lined up for the administration and will begin by attempting to secure buyers for the company's 240 stores.
The move raises the prospect of a pre-Christmas rush for discounted stock as the administrator looks to wind down supplies and raise cash for creditors.
Comet's reported collapse is one of the biggest since the demise of Woolworths in 2008 and comes a month after the failure of JJB Sports. Other recent casualties have included Clinton Cards, Blacks Leisure, Game and Peacocks.
The high street electricals market in the UK has come under huge pressure as cash-strapped shoppers put off purchases of big-ticket items such as TVs and large appliances and online rivals take a bigger slice of the sector.