More than a dozen jobs have been saved in Norwich after the sale of fashion-retailer Republic.

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The future of the store in the city’s Chapelfield Shopping Centre was secured yesterday after it was revealed Sports Direct International had swooped for the brand.

The move will secure 15 jobs in Norwich, and more than 2,100 across the country, as the Sports World group, founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, took over 116 stores and its brands SoulCal, Fabric and Crafted.

The undisclosed deal comes after the Republic called in administrators from Ernst & Young earlier this month.

It marks the latest deal for Sports Direct, which scooped up 20 shops and all the stock from one-time rival JJB Sports when it went into administration last year.

Administrator Hunter Kelly said: “In what has been a very challenging time and volatile climate for retailers, it is particularly pleasing to have completed the successful sale of Republic, saving 2,100 jobs across the UK high street and at its Leeds-based headquarters.

“The brand Republic is well-recognised and well-respected by customers for offering quality, high-fashion goods and it is a testament to its strength that Sports Direct has made this investment to secure its future and high street presence.”It was bought

Republic’s focus in the north of England - an area that has been hit particularly badly by the recession - is thought to have contributed to recent poor trading.

• Do you have a business story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772426, or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

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