Republic is latest high street chain to call in administrators

Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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Fashion chain Republic has collapsed into administration putting 2,500 jobs at risk.

Ernst & Young, administrator to the Leeds-based group, said the 121 shops would continue to trade while it looks for a buyer for the business.

The retailer has one outlet locally, in Portsmouth’s Commercial Road.

Republic, which started as a men’s denim retailer in 1986 under the Best Jeans brand in Leeds, was hit by a ‘sudden and rapid decline’ in sales at the end of last month after poor trading results over the autumn.

Ernst said it had made 150 staff redundant at Republic’s headquarters in Leeds.

Administrator Hunter Kelly said: ‘Republic suffered poor trading results in the autumn, and whilst sales picked up in December there has been a sudden and rapid decline in sales in late January.

He added: ‘We will continue to trade Republic, with a view to selling the business as a going concern.

‘The brand Republic is well recognised, particularly in the North.

‘It has a powerful website offering, owns well-known brand names, and has some very attractive and profitable stores.’