Youth retailer Republic 
‘set for administration’

YOUTH FASHION retailer Republic is reported to be on the brink of administration, raising fears for 1,000 jobs.

The company, which has its head office at Thorpe Park, near Colton, east Leeds, employs around 1,000 people nationwide and could announce a decision to enter administration today.

Accountancy firm Ernst & Young is reported to have been lined up to act as administrator.

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Last night both Republic and Ernst & Young declined to comment.

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 clothing brands such as G-Star, Diesel and Firetrap, including shops in Briggate, in Leeds, and Wakefield’s Trinity Walk. It also has a branch at the White Rose Shopping Centre.

In the firm’s financial accounts for the year to January 29, 2012, pre-tax profits fell from £27.3m to £3.2m.

Former Asda chief executive Andy Bond last week confirmed he had stepped down as Republic’s chairman, saying his decision to leave had been taken in October. “I took the decision for personal reasons after deciding to opt out of some of the businesses I was involved in,” he added.

Administration for the company would add to a deepening sense of gloom in the British high street. Thousands of jobs have been axed after music retailer HMV, camera group Jessops and DVD and games rental group Blockbuster all called in administrators last month.