Fashion retailer Republic is understood to be on the verge of administration, with administrator Ernst & Young waiting in the wings.

The 121-store retailer, which is owned by private equity firm TPG, is understood to have been hit by poor trading over recent months.

It is thought that the firm, which is run by former TK Maxx chief executive Paul Sweetenham, will enter administration as early as tomorrow.

It emerged last week that restructuring firm KPMG had been brought in to advise the company on shedding some of its stores.

Former Asda chief executive Andy Bond stepped down as chairman at the end of January.

The demise of Republic comes on the back of Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster which all crashed into administration last month.

TPG acquired Republic in June 2010 in a deal valuing the retailer at about £300m. The private equity firm had vowed to double to retailer’s store count however it has backtracked over the past year.

It has been in talks with landlords to move to monthly rents and has been vying to shed stores. However, it is understood that talks have been unsuccessful.

Republic could not be reached for comment and Ernst & Young declined to comment.