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Republic administrator 'pleased' with Sports Direct sale

The administrator for fashion retailer Republic has said welcomed the move to secure 2,100 jobs, after Sports Direct International bought the chain.

The undisclosed deal comes after administrators Ernst & Young closed five Republic shops in Scotland on Tuesday, with the loss of 105 jobs, and axed another 150 jobs at its head office in Leeds. Administrator Hunter Kelly said:

In what has been a very challenging time and volatile climate for retailers, it is particularly pleasing to have completed the successful sale of Republic, saving 2,100 jobs across the UK high street and at its Leeds-based headquarters.

The brand Republic is well-recognised and well-respected by customers for offering quality, high-fashion goods and it is a testament to its strength that Sports Direct has made this investment to secure its future and high street presence.

Sports Direct deal saves 2,100 jobs at Republic

More than 2,100 jobs have been saved by Sports Direct International's purchase of 116 stores from fashion retailer Republic.

The Sports World group was founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The Sports World group has also taken over the stock, along with the group's head office in Leeds and its websites and brands SoulCal, Fabric and Crafted.

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Republic stores will stay open while buyer sought

Ernst & Young, administrator to Leeds-based group, Republic, said the that 121 stores will continue to trade while it looks for a buyer for the business.

Republic, which started as a men's denim retailer in 1986 under the Best Jeans brand in Leeds, was hit by a "sudden and rapid decline" in sales at the end of last month after poor trading results over the autumn.

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.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.

– Hunter Kelly, Administrator

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