Further Republic stores are expected to close as some landlords have rejected owner Sports Direct’s new proposal to reduce rents.
Although the majority of landlords are understood to have agreed to the sports giant’s request, some have refused to give any concessions.
A source close to the situation said that some closures would be inevitable after Easter.
Sports Direct last month sent a letter to the landlords of the stores, the majority of which have been rebranded USC, seeking turnover based rents.
This is the second time that the Mike Ashley controlled retailer has sought rent reductions from Republic landlords after proposing a move to 15% of store turnover or 50% of the existing rent, business rates and service charge a month after it bought the shops.
Not all landlords agreed to the original proposal, with major property owners such Intu and Land Securities, rejecting it.
The retailer acquired 114 Republic stores in February last year but has since closed about half of them. Currently around 50 stores are still trading.
Poor performing former Republic stores have led to Sports Direct’s premium lifestyle division, which includes USC and Flannels, making a £11.9m loss its first half to December 12 which is expected to hit around £15m in the full year.
The situation is being exacerbated for Sports Direct by big brands such as Adidas Originals and Lacoste, which is owned by Pentland Brands - the largest shareholder in Sports Direct’s archrival JD Sports, restricting supply to USC and Republic.