Comet to charge suppliers for shelf space

Comet, the Kesa-owned high street electrical chain, is understood to be planning to charge for shelf space. The retailer has confirmed that it is currently in talks with suppliers.

The move comes just weeks after the group posted a 71% profit crash in its half year results in December.

Bob Darke, Kesa commercial director, is reported to have told suppliers they must pay up to £15,400 to get one product range displayed in UK Comet stores.

A Kesa spokeswoman told Marketing Week that she could “confirm we are in discussion with individual suppliers and yes we are looking for the best value in these difficult times.”

Kesa, which also owns French electricals chain Darty, posted a smaller than expected drop in sales for the recent Christmas period. Like-for-like sales at Comet dropped by 2.5%, while a bigger drop of 6.2% was recorded at Darty and its other businesses, which includes Menaje Del Hogar in Spain, BCC, Vanden Borre and Datart, fell 9.2%.

It is not clear if the group is attempting to impose similar charges on suppliers to its mainland European chains.

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