Staff working at the Republic clothes store in Northampton town centre face an uncertain future after the chain went into administration.
The fashion branch, which launched in 1986, has been taken over by administrator Ernst & Young, potentially putting 2,500 jobs at risk.
Ernst & Young said the chain’s 121 shops would continue to trade while it looks for a buyer for the business, but 150 staff have already been made redundant at Republic’s headquarters in Leeds.
Administrator Hunter Kelly said: “Republic suffered poor trading results in the autumn, and while sales picked up in December there has been a sudden and rapid decline in sales in late January.”
He added: “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.”