Republic slips into administration

By Laura Maltby Wednesday 13 February 2013 Updated: 15/02 07:55

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HMV is closing in the Priors and Republic is on the brink. Picture by Matt Bartholomew Bates. (s)

FASHION retailer Republic – which has a store in Leamington's Royal Priors shopping centre – is the latest national chain to collapse into administration.

It comes a week after news the HMV store - next door to Republic in the Priors - would close within the next two months.

Republic, which employs 1,600 people across 121 stores, has appointed Ernst & Young as its administrator.

The chain was founded in 1986 in Leeds by Tim Whitworth and Carl Brewins and last bought out by private equity group TPG for £300 million in 2010.

But the youth fashion retailer has been hit by recent poor trading, its profits collapsing by 86 per cent to £3.7 million in the year to January 2012.

Administrators for HMV revealed 66 of the retailer's stores would close. HMV entered administration in January putting 220 stores and 4,350 jobs at risk in the UK.

Along with 190 jobs from HMV's head office and distribution network, a further 930 jobs will now be shed, including those at the Leamington store.

The company has faced intense competition from online retailers, digital downloads and supermarkets in recent years.

Administrator Deloitte said no fixed date had been set for the closure of the stores, which will continue to trade in the meantime.

Neighbouring stores in Coventry and Stratford will remain open.

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