Published: 13:00, 28 February 2013 |
Updated: 16:09, 09 January 2014
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
More than 2,000 jobs - including dozens in Kent - have been saved after the sale of 116 stores of struggling fashion retailer Republic.
The stores in Canterbury (Whitefriars), Maidstone (Fremlin Walk), Tunbridge Wells (Royal Victoria Place) and Bluewater, are among the outlets sold by administrators Ernst & Young to Sportdirect.com Retail for an undisclosed sum.
The deal - which includes the brand, stores and head office in Leeds - has saved 2,100 jobs nationwide.
Until it collapsed into administration, Republic employed 2,500 people, but 150 jobs were axed in Leeds.
Republic specialises in young designer fashion, but has been hit by the spending downturn, especially in the youth fashion market, as well as fierce competition from Primark and online retailers.
Republic was owned by private equity group TPG and has been particularly strong in the north where recession has hit harder than elsewhere.
Hunter Kelly, joint administrator, said it was a challenging time and volatile climate for retailers which made the sale particularly pleasing.
"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," she said.
The business began as a men's denim retailer in 1986 under the Best Jeans brand in Leeds. It currently offers casual fashion, under multiple brands to young adults, including Jack Jones and SoulCal.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.