Hisbe Worthing

Sussex-based ethical retailer Hisbe has confirmed that the business has ceased trading and entered voluntary liquidation.

Hisbe’s stores in Brighton and Worthing temporarily closed in January citing the cost-of-living crisis, Covid-19 and a disappointing Christmas as reasons for a pause in trading, however the business had hopes that it would re-open and be able to pay the staff, suppliers and lenders it owed money to.

In a statement published on social media, it said: “It’s with great sadness that we announce the very painful decision to declare #HISBE insolvent and take the company into voluntary liquidation.

“Since the final tranche of our recovery funding fell through, we have explored all avenues to raise the investment we need to re-open the stores, but Hisbe is carrying too much debt from the last four years for funders to put new money in.

“We were following a strategic turnaround plan and slowly trading our way back, but ultimately could not weather the cumulative impacts of covid, inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.”

Customers and staff were thanked, with apologies made to the 135 local or independent suppliers that Hisbe worked with. “Sadly but inevitably the closure of Hisbe leaves many with unpaid invoices that we were expecting to clear in January. It’s creating enormous personal and financial stress for some of them – and we are sad and sorry that it has come to this.”

Hisbe first opened its doors in Brighton in 2013, with a second store opening in Worthing in 2021. A Crowdfunder in July 2023 raised £106,000, which was to be used to open a third store in Lewes, East Sussex.