Maybugs, the Hailsham-based independent gift and homewares retailer is to open a second much larger branch in Eastbourne this summer, breathing life into a large empty site in the centre of the town.

Opening at the end of July, Maybugs will be taking over all three floors of the former Laura Ashley site on Terminus Road.

Greg Rose and John Dale, the co-owners of Maybugs and driving force for local independent retail in Hailsham, are pressing ahead with their ambitious expansion plans despite the pandemic and lockdown setbacks over the past 12 months.

Greg Rose said “John and I are just too excited, we’ve been working on this in secret for months. Covid delayed our expansion plans, but not even that was going to stop us. We are ready and raring to bring beautiful things to the fabulous people of Eastbourne.

“We have so many wonderful customers that come from Eastbourne to shop with us in Hailsham, or order online via our website, that it was a natural move for us to open a second store here.

“The shop location is such a beautiful old building but has begun to look rather sad since it’s been left vacant.

We can’t wait to get stuck in and help rejuvenate that end of the town with a bit of Maybugs magic.

There’s a lot of work to do to get the store up to scratch over the next few weeks, and if all goes to plan, we hope to be flinging our doors open at the end of July ready for the summer season.”

John Dale said “Of course we’ll be stocking all the regular brands that our customers have come to know and love, however those of you who remember it as the Laura Ashley will know how big it is!

“In fact, just the ground floor is more than double the size of our Hailsham branch, which as you can imagine has enabled us to source lots of new fabulous brands which will be available exclusively in the new Eastbourne store.

“And we are not giving all the secrets away just yet, we have something special planned for the 1st and 2nd floors which will be opening next spring.”

Maybugs is owned by couple Greg Rose and John Dale. They opened their first branch in Hailsham’s Vicarage Field in 2018. In 2020 they opened Flowers by Maybugs, a contemporary florist and floral design studio next door to their Hailsham gift shop.

Maybugs stock a huge variety of gift and homewares including brands such as Wrendale Designs, JellyCat and Inis. Prices start at just £1 and go up to £300 for some of their most luxurious items.

The new store opening will create 8 jobs initially, which will increase to 20 when the 1st and 2nd floors open in 2022. Vacancies will be advertised on the Maybugs social media in the coming weeks.

Maybugs Eastbounre will be open 7 days a week. 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on a Sunday.

Pictured: Greg and John outside the Hailsham store