Republic set to enter administration
High street fashion chain Republic is expected to go into administration, putting up to 2,000 retail jobs at risk.
The Leeds- based retailer, which operates 120 stores, is reported to have seen a downturn in sales in recent months.
Founded in 1986 as a denim retailer, the company expanded rapidly around ten years ago and now sells a range of young fashion brands such as G-Star and Diesel for both men and women.
It has been reported that business services firm Ernst & Young has been lined up to handle the administration, which could happen as early as today.
Republic is owned by private equity firm TPG which bought the business in 2010 in a deal worth around £300 million.
Chairman Andy Bond, a former chief executive of Asda, is understood to have left the company last week after two years in the role.
Commenting on the news, Jon Copestake, retail analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said: "The collapse of Republic will add to a growing list of household names in administration, and continues to reflect the grim trading conditions on the high street.
"Republic may come as some surprise because, unlike HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster, it is not dealing in legacy products such as CDs, digital cameras or film rental. However, the similarities are just as stark, with the online emergence of ASOS tapping directly into the same youth fashion market as Republic.
"The outlook for the high street remains weak this year, and the acceleration in vacancies may exacerbate the situation by further reducing the potential footfall for stores that are continuing to struggle on."
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