Republic plans PR agency hire

British casualwear retailer Republic is planning to draft in a consumer PR agency to coincide with an aggressive expansion programme.

The West Yorkshire-headquartered firm wants to appoint an agency as soon as possible, and a representative was in London this week for initial discussions with selected PR agencies.

The firm, which has not previously retained a PR agency and is seeking to

diversify from its heritage as a denim retailer, is aiming to open up to 20 more shops before the end of the year with an eventual target of 200 openings.

The expansion plan is funded by a £20m cash injection from venture capitalist 3i.

Republic has around 40 shops, which sell brands including Bench, Levi’s, French Connection and Boxfresh. The chain also produces own-label clothes and has recently diversified into footwear.

A Republic spokeswoman said discussions were ‘very much at an initial stage’, but added that the firm was seeking to appoint a London-based agency with a pedigree in promoting fashion brands.

Older Republic stores operated under the Best Jeanswear banner until the Republic fascia was rolled out nationwide.

Openings this year include Edinburgh, Blackburn and Stockport. Stores in the south are planned in St Albans, Uxbridge and Oxford.

Republic’s rivals in the branded casualwear market include national chains such as Envy.

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