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Republic the latest retailer to be hit by recession

Fashion chain Republic is likely to be placed in administration today, putting 1000 jobs at risk as it becomes the latest in a string of high street casualties.

The group, which has eight stores employing around 100 staff across Scotland, has reportedly lined up Ernst & Young to handle the administration.

The chain has outlets in Glasgow at Buchanan Galleries, the Fort and Silverburn shopping centres.

Other branches can be found in Stirling, Falkirk, Dundee, Livingston and Braehead, in Renfrewshire.

Republic, which is owned by private equity firm TPG, started in Leeds as a men's denim retailer in 1986 and now has around 120 stores selling men's and womenswear brands including G-Star, Diesel and Firetrap.

Its woes follow a bleak start to the year for the retail sector, with a series of high-profile firms having hit the wall.

Thousands of jobs have been axed after music retailer HMV, camera group Jessops and DVD and games rental group Blockbuster called in administrators last month.

Republic has suffered amid poor trading in recent months, given the recent consumer spending pressures and its focus on the north of England – an area that has been hit particularly badly by the recession.

Chairman Andy Bond, a former Asda boss, is said to have stepped down last week after less than two years in the position.

The chain recently hired former TK Maxx boss Paul Sweetenham as chief executive.

TPG bought Republic in June 2010 in a deal worth around £300 million, with the founders understood to have retained a significant stake.

E&Y and Republic declined to comment.

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