More than 2,000 college and university-students from across Poole and Bournemouth poured into the Dolphin shopping centre on Thursday evening (September 3) for the centre’s first ever-student shopping event.

Organised in co-operation with events company Student Shopping UK, which has held similar nights in other venues around the country, the night aimed to pull students into the town centre for an evening of retail therapy – with exclusive one-off discounts, competitions, dancing and food.

Entertainment during the evening was provided by the south west’s biggest entertainment tribe, Cocoloco, with their resident DJs taking to the decks with some classic house tunes.

From 6.00pm students lined the streets, keen to make the most of the huge discounts that were being offered by retailers, including some of the biggest high street brands such as Topshop, New Look, Burtons, River Island and Body Shop.

Stores reported taking up to half of their usual day’s takings within the first hour of the event. Before 7.00pm Topshop took £2,000 and New Look reported sales of more than £3,000 in the first two hours.

Commenting on the success of the evening, centre manager, John Grinnell, said: “Our student night was fantastic and definitely drew in some massive crowds.

“We knew that our first-ever event exclusively for students would be popular but we were overwhelmed by the response.

“Our retailers and the centre management team absolutely loved seeing the students visit the centre. The reaction has been tremendous and there was a great atmosphere within the shopping centre throughout the evening.”

New Look was one of the busiest stores on the night, store manager, Naomi Colmer, said: “I don’t think it could have gone any better. It was like an invasion with hoards of people running into the store. The queues were constant and went all the way round the shop – you couldn’t see the end – it was absolutely nuts. It was definitely an amazing success.”

Primark store manager, Marina Johnson, added: “We didn’t expect such a good reaction but it was amazing.”

Following the success of the first-ever student night, the Dolphin shopping centre hope to continue with student shopping events in the future.