EcoStream beats boycotters
Anti-Israel activists outside the EcoStream shop in Brighton. Business is booming despite the protests (Photo: Sandy Rashty)
An Israeli-owned shop in Brighton has reported growth in its business of 40 per cent despite being targeted by boycott activists.
EcoStream, which sells SodaStream recyclable bottles made in the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim, is picketed every Saturday afternoon by anti-Israel activists.
But despite the protesters’ efforts, the shop has seen an increase in sales, expanded its product-line and this week launched its website.
EcoStream manager Steve Bannatyne said: “A few of weeks ago, we saw a 38 per cent increase in trade. And it’s stayed steady from there on.”
The shop was established in August 2012. It sells bottles and containers which customers can refill with locally-sourced goods which it also stocks.
“People are warming up to the concept — 60 per cent of our business is repeat trade,” Mr Bannatyne said.
Roman Fox, a member of Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI), which mounts pro-Israel counter-protests outside the store, said: “The intimidating anti-Israel demonstrators put people off going into the shop. This new website will absolutely boost trade”.
A woman was due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress following an incident during a protest outside EcoStream.