2013 is set to be the year of hell for the British High Street, as fashion retailer Republic has joined the high-profile names to go bust this year. The youth fashion brand - which brings together a host of labels and its own fashions - has 121 stores in the UK, and employs around 2,500 people.
It had been bought by a private equity firm in 2010, who had high hopes for the chain, and had wanted to double the number of stores on Britain's high streets. Sky reported that it has injected around £20 million into the chain during 2012. However, it has been brought to its knees by the recession.
ClosuresThe Financial Times was the first to highlight the risk of administration. It said that the group faced huge trading disappointments, especially as so many of its stores are in the North of the country - which is suffering disproportionally in the recession.
It was known to be working hard to keep the brand alive. It had brought in accountants to advise on store closures, and executive change was on the agenda. It was trying to renegotiate shop rental deals. However, it is thought that the problems were just too big for the chain to handle.
According to the BBC, Ernst & Young has been lined up as administrator and it's hoped the business will sell as a going concern.
What does it mean for you?At the moment, the company is trading as normal, and the website is still taking orders. If you have credit or gift vouchers with the company, it may be wise to go in store and spend it while you still can.
Some companies have been accepting these while they are in administration, but they are not compelled to do so.
With the demise of hundreds of former Jessops, Blockbuster and HMV stores already this year, there's the real risk that many high streets will become ghost towns over the course of this year.
But what do you think? Is there any hope for British high streets? Let us know in the comments.