ANOTHER retailer with a store in Huddersfield is on the brink of collapse, it is feared.
Youth fashion chain Republic is expected to call in administrators today – putting 1,000 jobs at risk as it becomes the latest in a string of high street casualties.
The group has lined up Ernst & Young to handle the administration, according to reports.
Republic has a sizeable store at Kingsgate in Huddersfield and outlets in Leeds, Wakefield and the White Rose Centre.
An employee at the Huddersfield store said staff were unaware of the situation yesterday, saying: “This is the first I’ve heard of it.”
Nationally, the Leeds-based retailer has 121 stores and employs about 1,000 people.
The loss of Republic would deal another blow to the retail sector, which has already been hit by the collapse of several major names in recent weeks, including HMV, Jessops and Blockbusters.
Thousands of jobs have been lost in “bricks and mortar” retailing in the face of tough economic conditions and competition from online retailers.
Republic, which is owned by US private equity firm TPG, is understood to have suffered from poor trading in recent months due to pressures on consumer spending and its focus on the north of England, which 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. The chain recently hired ex-TK Maxx boss Paul Sweetenham as chief executive.
TPG bought Republic in June, 2010, in a deal worth about £300m.
Ernst & Young and Republic both declined to comment.
Republic, which stocks brands including G-Star, Diesel and Firetrap, traces its roots to 1985 when it was founded as Just Jeans.
It later changed its name to Best Jeanswear before the Republic brand was launched in 1998.