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Republic bids to break £200m sales barrier

Branded young fashion retailer Republic is set to increase its sales by a third this year to break the £200m barrier after opening its 100th store this week.

Republic opened three new stores this week, averaging 4,000 sq ft, including its 100th, in Chester and a shop at Glasgow Fort. The retailer plans to open three more in October, in Bromley, Inverness and Bath, helping it towards its sales target.

The Leeds-based chain, which sells brands including Firetrap, Henleys and G-Star alongside mens- and womenswear own brand Soul Cal and womenswear own label Miso, is also searching for a store on London’s Oxford Street.

“We would love to have an Oxford Street store presence,” said Republic chief executive Tim Whitworth. “Unfortunately, the opportunity hasn’t yet arisen.”

In the year to January 25, Republic’s sales increased by 22% to £147m. Operating profit soared 40% to £20m.

 So far this year the retailer has notched up double-digit like-for-like sales growth and an improvement in margin.

Whitworth would not be drawn on which individual brands had driven sales at the retailer.

Republic relaunched its website earlier this month with new-look areas for branded product, offering consumers brand biographies and news, and an improved store finder function. The website accounts for 10% of group sales.

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