Owner of The Sweetie Boutique Susi Shanks

There are signs of economic growth in Poole as the Dolphin shopping centre has had a strong start to the autumn after welcoming eight new retailers.

K & J Toyshop, an independent family-run toy shop which began in Christchurch in 2009, has expanded its business and opened a second store in Poole. Other independents consist of a new start-up shop, The Sweetie Boutique, and Kulla, a clothing store that opened in Falkland Square.

Owner of The Sweetie Boutique, Susi Shanks, said: “This is my first shop on my own and I am grateful of the support of the Dolphin shopping centre.

“As well as offering traditional sweets, I also wanted to create a niche in the market and offer a sweet shop experience for diabetics too; The Sweetie Boutique specialises in sugar-free sweets and we have more than 50 different varieties suitable for diabetics.”

Meanwhile, toy store, Hawkins Bazaar, which has 22 stores across the country, has once again signed a Christmas deal and opened a temporary shop selling unique toys, games, gadgets, crafts and puzzles in the run up to the festive period.

Other retailers include Warren James jewellers, Zaravape, Anna and Fone Customize.

John Grinnell, centre manager, added: “It’s fantastic news that we are able to announce these new lettings. They are exciting additions to the Centre and will add to the already impressive portfolio of retailers.

“Not only do these new stores provide more choice to shoppers, we are delighted that they also bring new jobs to the town centre.”

Other retailers have also witnessed further economic growth, the Centre’s only mobile phone repair store, Bitznfix, has had to upsize its unit due to on-going demand and has now opened a new shop a few doors down from Wilkinson.