Republic clothing store expected to go into administration tomorrow

Worcester News: Picture by Press Association Picture by Press Association

FASHION chain Republic is expected to collapse into administration tomorrow.

The move will put 1,000 jobs at risk including those at Worcester's branch on the High Street.

It has become the latest in a string of high street casualties which included Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster.

The group has already lined up Ernst & Young to handle the administration, according to reports.

Republic, which is owned by private equity firm TPG, started in Leeds as a men's denim retailer in 1986 and now has around 120 stores selling mens and womenswear brands including G-Star, Diesel and Firetrap.

Its woes follow a bleak start to the year for the retail sector, with a series of high-profile firms having hit the wall.

Thousands of jobs have been axed after music retailer HMV, camera group Jessops and DVD and games rental group Blockbuster called in administrators last month.

It is understood that Republic has suffered amid poor trading in recent months, given the recent consumer spending pressures and its focus on the north of England - an area that has been hit particularly badly by the recession.

Chairman Andy Bond, a former Asda boss, is said to have stepped down last week after less than two years.

The chain recently hired ex-TK Maxx boss Paul Sweetenham as chief executive.

TPG bought Republic in June 2010 in a deal worth around £300 million, with the founders understood to have retained a significant stake.

E&Y and Republic declined to comment.

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