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Brewins takes back seat at Republic

Republic co-founder Carl Brewins has stepped back from day-to-day involvement in the business after 26 years.

He will remain a non-executive director of the branded young fashion retailer, citing personal reasons for the change.

Brewins launched Republic with chief executive Tim Whitworth in 1986, and along with chairman Andy Bond and private equity backer TPG, invested a total of £20m in the business before Christmas.

TPG took a 60% stake in Republic in a £300m deal in 2010 from former owner Change Capital, the private equity house headed by former Marks & Spencer boss Roger Holmes.

Last summer, Republic asked its banks for greater financial headroom, although it had not breached its covenants.

Republic was understood to be keen to take advantage of good property deals while improving IT systems and adding more brands. It has ambitions to double its 200 stores.

No one from Republic or TPG was available for comment.

Readers' comments (3)

  • I wish Carl the best of luck - he's a top man. But I wish Drapers would get its facts right - just once would be nice. Best Trading (Republic came later) was founded by Carl and Robin Bray, god rest his soul. Keep getting things wrong guys and no-one will believe anything you write.

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  • Thanks for your comment. Assuming that Drapers has got its facts wrong is not entirely right, however. Yes, Carl and Robin founded the business in 1986, which evolved into Republic. <br/><br/>But given the long back story, which saw Carl and Tim buy the business from Robin and Howard in 2002, even Carl himself refers to Tim as a co-founder and, for ease, says they started the business together. Tim was there from the beginning, having started as a Saturday boy. <br/><br/>I'd also refer you to the Republic website: "In 1986 Republic started life as a men’s denim only retailer, trading from a single store in Leeds. Today the brand is a true success story, considered as one of the pre-eminent British multi-branded retailers, with an impressive 97 UK stores and a highly successful e-commerce site. Republic’s management team is led by Tim Whitworth, chief Executive, and Carl Brewins, buying director, both of whom are significant shareholders and founders of the business."<br/><br/><br/><br/>

  • My name is christian bray the son of one of the two founding members, in fact in a way thee founding member as it was my father Robin bray that saw the potential in carl and set him up in the basment of mr howard and lynetts a taylors shop in wetherby that my father maneged, not leeds as you incorrectly quoted, then they both came cleen to Howard Brearly the owner of the shop, thats the begining of best trading company as it was called then, please do not insult my fathers memory by calling tim a founder membe

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  • Thank you for clarifying Christian, and be assured no insult was intended. The company itself refers to Tim as a founder on its website as does Carl himself, which is why we used this term to describe him.
    Best wishes,
    Caroline Nodder
    Editor in Chief, Drapers

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