Fashion retailer Republic (www.republic.co.uk) has gone into administration. Ernst & Young have been appointed as administrators and they have said that all 121 shops will continue to trade while they seek a buyer for the business. If a buyer cannot be found then the future for the UK stores is bleak.
There are 6 Republic stores in Essex:
- Chelmsford – High Chelmer Shopping Centre
- Colchester – Culver Square Shopping Centre
- Southend – High Street
- Basildon – Eastgate Shopping Centre
- Romford – Liberty shopping centre
With the exception of Southend-on-Sea, all Essex Republic stores are inside shopping centres. It has certainly been a hard time for the managers of shopping centres in recent years.
Republic was founded in 1986 by Tim Whitworth and Carl Brewins. It originally just produced jeans under the Best Jeans brand in Leeds. The headquarters are still in Leeds and Ernst & Young have announced that 150 employees from the Leeds HQ are being made redundant.
Tim Whitworth joined Best Jeanswear in 1989 as a Saturday boy. At the time Best Jeans only had a few stores centred on Leeds. In just 14 years he moved up the corporate ladder and headed a business with a £200 million turnover and 103 stores.
Tim, along with co-founder Carl Brewins, then created Republic in 2002 when they bought out the 30-store chain.
You can learn more about Tim’s journey from 2010 article in Retail Week.
Poor Trading In Fourth Quarter of 2012
Republic suffered from some very poor trading in the final quarter of 2012 and the Christmas period did not provide a boost in sales. In late January sales fell further, forcing the business into administration.
Andy Bond Steps Down
Andy Bond, the chairman of Republic and former chairman of Asda resigned last week. Paul Sweetenham, a former TK Maxx CEO, took over the top management role at Republic.
Republic Customer Helpline
Republic is still selling Gift Cards on its website (www.republic.co.uk/men/gift-cards/) today (Wednesday 13th February). Currently we do not know if the company will honour these gift cards – so be careful and warn friends and family.
Ernst & Young has set up a helpline for customers on 0113 298 2450 and the e-mail address [email protected]
You can also follow the latest news on the Twitter feed @republicfashion, although at 12pm they Tweeted:
Sadly #Republic is now in the hands of Administrators. We did all we could but it’s simply too tough out there. Thanks for your support.
This may well be the last word from Republic. Late last night they were still promoting their Onesie shop and sharing pancake recipes too.