Brighton-based ethical supermarket hiSbe say it is planning to establish a regional chain of up to 10 stores over the next five years.
HiSbe opened its first store in December 2013. The part crowd-funded shop – founded by sisters, Ruth and Amy Anslow – was always billed as ‘pilot-store’.
Explaining the hiSbe (standing for ‘how it should be’) philosophy to NPN at the time, Amy Anslow said: “We call ourselves an independent supermarket, standing up for how is should be. It’s the supermarkets we want to take business away from. To do that we need to sell normal, recognisable products that people on average budgets and everyday diets buy. But we’re also about affordable food that is as local, healthy, natural, fairly traded, seasonal and as ethically produced as possible.”
Last week the two sisters took to facebook to ask their followers to keep an eye out for suitable new retail sites in the area. “Where do you think we should go – anyone spotted any nice big empty shops they’d like us to move into?” they posted.
Amy Anslow told the Brighton Argus that the biggest challenge for the retailer was finding units large enough. ‘Most commercial premises are very, very small. It also needs to be in a residential area or close to a residential area that isn’t too expensive. Part of the shopping experience at hiSbe is having the space to walk around. It will really depend on where customers want us – it’s about pull rather than push.”