Clothing chain Republic goes into administration

  • Republic

Another one bites the dust. A quite predictable line, I agree, but it's far too appropriate to describe the current situation to be dismissed. After music giant HMV, electrical retailer Comet and many more, the latest recession casualty is the Leeds-based clothing chain Republic, which includes a range of other brands such as American Apparel, Bench and Henleys.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young has already been chosen to take over the group - which at the moment has 121 UK stores and more than 2,500 employees - while former ASDA boss and current Republic chairman Andy Bond has apparently stepped down last week after being with the company for only less than two years. During this time the clothing chain couldn't stop its gradual decline, which started in 2005 and culminated with this year's poor sales in the crucial north of England area.

The company, founded in 1986, was originally called 'Best Company' and only produced jeans and denim. Riding on its international success, the owners decided then to widen its horizons by introducing different lines and transforming it into a trendy clothing outlet for 16-25 year olds. In 1998 the Republic brand was born and by the end of 2011, it reported an annual profit of more than £20m.

Despite the big figures, that was nowhere near the chain's pre-2005 success and it was still part of an unstoppable downhill trend. In an attempt to make the situation improve, a year and a half ago the group declared that it was looking into investing new funds into the brand in order to buy new stores and strengthen its online presence, but obviously that wasn't enough to keep the retailer afloat.

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