Last Cosmos stores to close

Bankrupt electronic chain Cosmos will end its sale and close its remaining 17 stores tomorrow (Sat), the company announced yesterday (Thurs).The chain has already closed 10 stores and laid off 324 employees.The closures mean 1,160 employees will lose their jobs. Vienna employees will be able to find places in a regional foundation (RI) at which the Vienna Employee Support Fund (WAFF) is financing 100 places but may pay for more if needed.Cosmos had cut prices by 20 per cent at its 17 stores still open in late February.Manager Robert Knobl said he still hoped investors could be found to take the chain over before it went out of business for good. He said the next few weeks would reveal if that was the case.The Alpine Land Credit Protection Association (AKV) had reported earlier in February that Cosmos was bankrupt after failing to obtain a forced settlement with creditors. AKV said prospective investors had decided to take a significantly reduced part of the Cosmos chain.Cosmos, founded in 1975, has debts of around five million Euros. The company entered bankruptcy proceedings on 29 January after trying in vain for months to find an investor.Cosmos had losses of 11 million Euros in its 2008 business year.