FASHION retailer Republic has become the latest casualty on the high street after appointing administrators today.

It has been confirmed that 2,500 jobs are under threat at the chain, which has 121 stores in the UK, including one in the Old George Mall, Salisbury.

Hunter Kelly, John Sumpton and Alan Hudson of Ernst and Young LLP have been appointed joint administrators.

Mr Kelly said: "Republic suffered poor trading results in the autumn, and whilst sales picked up in December there has been a sudden and rapid decline in sales in late January.

“The impact on cash flows has resulted in the business being unable to continue to operate outside of an insolvency process.”

“Unfortunately, it has been necessary to make 150 employees at the head office in Leeds redundant.

“We will continue to trade Republic, with a view to selling the business as a going concern.

“The brand Republic is well recognised, particularly in the north. It has a powerful website offering, owns well-known brand names, and has some very attractive and profitable stores.

“We are grateful for the continued support of all employees and customers during this time, and would like to thank everyone at Republic for their commitment and hard work as the business continues to trade."

Republic is the latest high street retailer to collapse this year, following HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster, which all went into administration last month.