150 staff at the Leeds head office of collapsed youth fashion chain Republic have been made redundant.
The cull was confirmed as the company plunged into administration today following a slump in sales.
Hunter Kelly, John Sumpton and Alan Hudson of accountancy firm Ernst & Young have been appointed as Republic’s joint administrators.
The company’s 121 stores nationwide will continue to trade while the administrators try to sell it as a going concern.
Nearly 200 people worked at Republic’s Thorpe Park headquarters prior to the redundancies.
Mr 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.
“The impact on cash flows has resulted in the business being unable to continue to operate outside of an insolvency process.
“Unfortunately, it has been necessary to make 150 employees at the head office in Leeds redundant.
“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.
“We are grateful for the continued support of all employees and customers during this time, and would like to thank everyone at Republic for their commitment and hard work as the business continues to trade.”
Republic started in Leeds as a men’s denim retailer in 1986.
Its presence in Yorkshire now includes shops on Briggate in Leeds city centre and Wakefield’s Trinity Walk. It also has a branch at the White Rose Shopping Centre.
The firm is the latest in a string of familiar high street names to fall on hard times.
Thousands of jobs were axed after music retailer HMV, camera group Jessops and DVD and games rental group Blockbuster all called in administrators last month.
Ernst & Young have set up a helpline and e-mail address to handle inquiries from Republic customers.
The helpline number is 0113 298 2450 while the e-mail address is email@example.com.