Sports Direct acquires Republic fashion chain

By Laura Moulden

Sports Direct has acquired the Republic chain of high-street fashion shops for an undisclosed amount.

More than 2,000 jobs will be saved as a result of the buyout according to administrators of the clothing retailer, which went into administration two weeks ago.

Sports Direct will take on 114 Republic stores, the majority of stock in the business and control of its own brands, including SoulCal, Fabric and Crafted.

Hunter Kelly, an administrator from accountancy group Ernst & Young, described the purchase as a testament to the strength of Sports Direct, claiming the buyout would contribute to securing the future of the brand.

“The brand Republic is well recognised and well respected by customers for offering quality, high-fashion goods,” he said. “We are extremely grateful for the support and loyalty showed by all employees and customers during what has been an uncertain time.”

Mr Kelly went on to note that the sale comes amid a “very challenging” and “volatile” climate for retailers in the UK.

Weak sales during the autumn of 2012 prompted the move into administration and despite a resurgence in December, the chain was hit by a “sudden and rapid decline” in sales during the latter end of January.

“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,” said Mr Kelly.

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