Republic (retailer)

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Industry Fashion retail
Fate Purchased by Sports Direct, merged with USC
Headquarters Leeds, England
Number of locations
114 stores (2013)
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Tim Whitworth
Number of employees
Parent Sports Direct

Republic was a clothing retailer with 121 stores in the United Kingdom.[1] In February 2013, it entered administration, and was purchased by Sports Direct.[2] Republic was merged into Sports Direct's USC brand.


Founded in 1985, as Just Jeans, after 1990, the name changed to Best Jeanswear; Republic was launched in 1998. It was a private limited company (Republic (Retail) Ltd.) and, in 2005, Change Capital invested in the company to finance expansion plans. In May 2011 the company was bought by private equity firm TPG Capital.[3][4]

Administration and acquisition[edit]

Republic on Briggate, Leeds

Republic filed for administration on 13 February 2013, with Ernst & Young appointed administrators.[5] 150 head office staff were immediately made redundant, leaving 2,500 jobs at risk.[1] During the administration time, a total of 8 Republic stores closed, 5 in Scotland, with a further 2 closed in Northern Ireland and one in Middlesbrough, England.

On 28 February 2013, Sports Direct bought 114 Republic stores, the brand name, all remaining stock and own-brands including SoulCal, Crafted and Fabric from the administrators.[6] The Republic head office was also purchased.[2]

Sports Direct attempted to negotiate a reduction in rent for a number of stores, but the proposal was rejected by its landlords for those stores: Intu and Land Securities. As a result, 20 stores were closed.[7] The remaining Republic stores were subsequently merged with USC.[8][9]


The company was positioned in the mass sector of the clothing market, and had a focus on young fashion. Lines were stocked from casual brands including Bench, Fenchurch, G-Star Raw, American Apparel, Henleys and Drunknmunky, as well as own brands SoulCal & Co, Miso, Crafted, Fabric, and ex-brand White Label. Before entering administration, Republic introduced a new own-branded line, @Republic, which transferred to USC.


  1. ^ a b "Republic chain enters administration". BBC News. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Republic fashion chain bought by Sports Direct". BBC News. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  3. ^ FT
  4. ^ Telegraph
  5. ^ "Retailer Republic poised to fall into administration". City A.M. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sports Direct International Plc - Acquisition of Republic". Sports Direct International. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Ruddick, Graham (6 June 2013). "Sports Direct to close 20 Republic stores after landlord row". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Goldfingle, Jemma (18 July 2013). "Republic and USC to merge and brands decide which name stays, says Sports Direct boss Dave Forsey". Retail Week. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "We've joined forces". USC. 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 

External links[edit]