A sustainable supermarket told staff it was facing “difficult circumstances” before unexpectedly closing two stores.

Bosses at Hisbe told workers at its Brighton and Worthing branches not to come in to work in an email sent in on Friday, January 5.

The supermarket added that the stores would be closed “until further notice” but that the closures would be temporary.

Staff were told that the owners were “doing our best to raise funds” and exploring options for the shop.

In an email sent to staff last Friday, company directors Ruth Anslow and Jack Simmonds said: “Unfortunately Hisbe is experiencing difficult circumstances and we find ourselves in a position where we need to close the stores temporarily.

“The stores will close from tonight until further notice.

The Argus: Hisbe in York Place, BrightonHisbe in York Place, Brighton (Image: The Argus)

“We are exploring all options for Hisbe and doing our best to raise funds.”


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Staff were also told they would be updated on the future of the stores by yesterday.

A message placed in Hisbe shops in York Place, Brighton, and Portland Road, Worthing, said it would be “hopefully back soon”.

Hisbe, standing for How It Should Be, was started in 2010 by sisters Ruth and Amy Anslow and opened its second store in Worthing in 2021.

In May last year Hisbe launched a crowdfunding campaign saying that they have been in “survival mode” and were also looking to open a store in Lewes this year.

A statement from the campaign said: “These last three years have been tough, on all of us.

“Hisbe has been in survival mode - and we are so grateful to all our customers and supporters for sticking with us. Hisbe simply wouldn’t still be here without you.

Running any small business at the moment is extra challenging, with rising costs and customers watching their pennies.

“But it's even more of a balancing act for Hisbe, as a social enterprise. It costs us extra to follow our values and do the right thing, whilst still keeping prices affordable for our shoppers.”

The supermarket prides itself on opening products “thoughtfully sourced from small, local producers and brands that trade responsibly, fairly and sustainably”, according to its website.

Hisbe were approached for comment.