The Dolphin Shopping Centre has smashed last year’s student shopping night record with more than 3,000 students making the most of the centre’s one-night-only exclusive event.

The evening aimed to pull college and university students from across Poole and Bournemouth into the town centre for a night of retail therapy with exclusive one-off discounts with some of the biggest high street brands such as Topshop, New Look, Beales, River Island and Body Shop.

Stores reported even better sales figures compared to last year’s event, with River Island achieving 140 per cent over its target, New Look doubled its takings in comparison to the first student event, Beales witnessed a 75 per cent uplift and Body Shop achieved the best subscription to its loyalty card scheme in the region, with 95 per cent of students signing up.

Organised in co-operation with events company Student Shopping UK, which has held similar nights in other venues around the country, the evening offered store competitions, free samples from Subway, an eight lane scalextric track and live entertainment from not one but two DJs, including local radio station, Fire.

Commenting on the success of the evening, centre manager, John Grinnell, said: “We’re blown away by Poole and Bournemouth’s students’ response to our latest student shopping night, which has broken our previous record. Interest came early, as finance-savvy students try to stretch their loans as far as possible by really buying-in to special events like ours.

“For new arrivals to the area, it’s a great way to introduce them to Poole as a shopping destination – and for returning students it’s a one-off chance to save a fortune at an otherwise very expensive time in their lives.”

Most students spoke highly of the evening and their newly-purchased items.

Sue Campion, studying a BN (Hons) Nursing degree, said: “As I live in Poole I thought I would make the most of the student event. It was a great evening with a lively, fun atmosphere, plus who couldn’t resist all the fantastic retailer discounts. I enjoy shopping and will definitely be back next year.”