Republic In Administration As Website Shuts
Fashion retailer Republic has gone into administration and closed its website, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.
The normal website was replaced with a headline saying "Site Unavailable", along with a message from the joint administrators.
Customers vented their frustration on social media outlets.
The firm, which operates 121 stores across the UK with a stronger presence in the north of the country, has appointed administrators Ernst & Young to sell the business while it attempts to trade.
It has already made 150 employees redundant at the head office in Leeds.
Speaking to Sky News about the Republic redundancies, Chancellor George Osborne said: "It is always very, very sad news when a retailer goes bust and people lose jobs.
"We are going to work hard to make sure they have jobs to go to."
Republic is owned by private equity firm TPG.
The investment firm's website still promotes Republic as "one of the United Kingdom's top young adult fashion retailers".
Staff tweeted a message after the move to administration.
It said: "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."
On Tuesday, Sky News City Editor Mark Kleinman revealed the retailer was poised to enter administration.
But hours later it still promoted itself as a viable concern with a tweet about its all-in-one outfits.
The tweet said: "We are indeed your one stop Onesie shop. And if you play our #RepublicRomance game you can get 10% off."
Hunter Kelly, head of corporate restructuring team at Ernst & Young, said: "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.
"The impact on cash flows has resulted in the business being unable to continue to operate outside of an insolvency process."
Republic began as a men's denim retailer in 1986 under the Best Jeans brand, and sells brands including Diesel, Firetrap and G-Star Raw.
Republic's demise is the latest in a string of British high street casualties in the last six months.
Music and entertainment retailer HMV, DVD rental firm Blockbuster and camera specialist Jessops have all gone into administration this year.
In October, electricals chain Comet also called in administrators.
Mr Osborne is aware of the trend in retail of increasing web-based purchases and its affect on the retail sector.
He told Sky: "I think you are seeing changes on our high street, a lot of clothing is sold online now so we are seeing changes in the way people shop in this country."
what do you think?
Yet another casualty of the greed of landlords and the iniquitous business rates regime.
Very true George. Greedy Landords & Greedy local councils with their ever rising rates and of course parking charges
The retail industry employs over 4 million people and is responsible for 11% of our GDP. The financial sector employs just over 1 million people and produces 10.2 % of our GDP. That speaks for irself. Billions of Pounds of our money has been thrown at the banks to bail them out but the retail sector is being murdered by taxes. VAT went up to 20% and sales fell immediately as did VAT reciepts to the Treasury (Osbourne blames "organised crime"!) Another 140 and more high st. chains are at risk and thousands of independent traders too. What is the Government doing to save these jobs? Absolutely nothing!
I'm afraid that I have very little understanding of the Financial services industry in this country, which perhaps explains my very deep distrust of it. However, I remain deeply suspicious of these so-called private equity and hedge-fund companies which so often turn out to be the actual owners of so many failed retail businesses. They so often appear to be owned and run by very wealthy and secretive people, who of course are the only people that this government are interested in. I can't help but wonder how much asset stripping is involved here with absolutely no thought or consideration given to the relatively innocent and often hard-working people in the front line who's jobs are always the first to go?
Yes, asset stripping is a major problem. But it is not the exclusive domain of private equity and hedge fund companies. Two of the worst offenders are the banks and HMRC. This recession/depression is seeing wealth concentrated in the hands of the few as never before.
What is this government doing to help our high street shops? The answer is simple they are doing nothing, they do not care about the shops or the staff who go out to work to earn money. There are staff with families trying to bring money in. But this so called government are not interested in the hard working people. They are making the poorer workers poorer and rich people richer Quicker we get this government out the better, we will have no shops in high street, people won't be able to pay their bills as they lost their jobs. Get your finger out Cameron and help the shops and workers. Instead of sending billions of pounds to other countries main priority is this country there is people on the streets and not in work in poverty. He does nothing to help his own country.
I agree completely Ian. Any business or individual who borrowed money and paid interest on that loan, only to give that money away would quite rightly be called lunatic, but that is exactly what this government is doing!
Ian. I fear you are directing your anger in the wrong direction. Instead look to the many thousands who now buy so many things on line. That is the future, the high street is the past like it or not
Another retailer bites the dust...sign of the times i'm affraid and only the strong survive in this climate. What worries me is that online sales are eating up the retail industry and in 20 years time i see the high street looking very different than it does today....scary times
Parlane. Exactly. I have just bought a fridge on line incl free delivery. Although it was the same price on the high street they wanted £10 for delivery. A no brainer
Sad another retailer falls, Often shop at Republic stores, the £1 shops are taking over the high streets! Worked in Retail all my working life for 24 years and it's now a scary place!
Clueless at the top, hoping it will all go away without actually doing anything about it, Eyes down David, Tax and Sack, that's the way boy!