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Republic administration leaves debts of £33m

Trade suppliers, landlords and employees could lose almost £30m in the wake of young fashion chain Republic’s administration it has emerged.

According to research commissioned by indie owner Paul Turner-Mitchell and undertaken by corporate financial monitoring specialists Company Watch, the administration of Republic could also cost the taxpayer £3m.

The research found that the largest retailers to have collapsed since the start of 2012 have left behind a £1.03bn unsecured debt pile. Of that, £497m came from a total of 11 fashion retailers that went bust between January 2012 to March 2013.

Republic, which went into administration in February, is among these retailers to have collapsed leaving a £3m tax bill and a total unsecured debt of £32.3m.

Value chain Peacocks left unsecured debt of £321m including £19.1m of HMRC debt, with Company Watch analysis suggesting creditors were likely to get just 1p in the £1.

Nearly £95m total debt was left behind after sportswear chain JJB Sports went into administration last September, while Blacks Leisure, which was later bought by JD Sports Fashion, had debts of £10.8m.

Drapers reported last month that Republic stockists were set to lose out on millions of pounds in the wake of the young fashion retailer’s acquisition by Sports Direct, with creditors offered just 28p in the pound.

Nick Hood, business risk analyst at Company Watch, said: “The retail sector has been one of the worst hit since recession first hit the UK in 2008 and the pain goes on and on, made worse by structural changes caused by the relentless growth of online and mobile/smartphone app shopping.”

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