Retailers at the Dolphin Shopping Centre maintained momentum during the Christmas period, with stores reporting an increase in trade compared to last year’s figures.
Footfall at the Dolphin Shopping Centre in 2014 was up 1.5 per cent in comparison to 2013, helping the shopping centre to retain its position as one of the area’s leading Christmas shopping destinations. A varied assortment of events and free parking initiatives courtesy of the Borough of Poole are thought to be the reasons why shoppers are continuing to choose the Dolphin Centre.
Top national retailers including BHS, Beales and Marks and Spencer reported better sales figures compared to last year. BHS saw a 2 per cent increase on last year over the Christmas period, beating the regional average and Beales were up 1.7 per cent on last year, with an increased footfall of 1,550 customers. Marks and Spencer also reported strong growth on the year in line with the company for Christmas Week.
Commenting on the success of BHS Poole’s Christmas trade, store manager, Simon Prager said: “The restaurant has been particularly strong for us this season. Thanks to the modernisation of the restaurant in March last year, the restaurant has seen a 15 per cent uplift in trade compared to last year.”
The Dolphin Shopping Centre hosted VIP late night shopping events throughout December, including ‘Ladies’ Night’ and ‘Last Minute Men’s Night.’ These proved to be very popular, pulling shoppers from across Poole and Bournemouth for a night of retail therapy, exclusive discounts and free entertainment.
Centre manager John Grinnell was delighted with this year’s figures: “It’s been a brilliant Christmas for trade at the Dolphin Shopping Centre. Thanks to the creativity of our team, our VIP late night shopping evenings were especially popular and helped make Christmas shopping less stressful and more fun!”
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.”
Sales heated up at the Dolphin Shopping Centre this summer, with stores seeing strong growth compared to August last year.
National high street tenants at the centre, including Next, 3UK and BHS, all saw an increase in sales on figures reported at the same time last summer.
Following its recent investment in a unit refit, 3UK has witnessed a mammoth 48 per cent growth compared to sales in August last year, with BHS and Next also reporting a sales increase of 16 per cent.
Commenting on their recent success, BHS store manager Simon Prager said: “With the weather being so good this year we have had a bumper summer. We have definitely seen a rise in sales for women’s wear and witnessed more women buying clothes for themselves. Our other concessions, including Wallis and Dorothy Perkins, have also performed very well.”
The centre also saw its busiest ever event this summer, when more than 1,000 children and their parents took part in an exciting mini excavation for its Jurassic Poole weekend in August. July’s extreme weekender – showcasing sporting skill and daring stunts – also attracted crowds to the centre.
Centre manager John Grinnell was delighted with the figures: “With the fantastic weather bringing people to the coast and growth in stronger consumer confidence, it’s been a brilliant summer for trade,” he said.
“Thanks to the creativity of our team, our events have proved especially popular this summer – and we’ll continue to work hard to make sure visiting the Dolphin Centre is a great day out for the family.”
Dorset’s largest indoor shopping centre, the Dolphin Centre has been shortlisted for the Sustainable Tourism Award category at this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards.
Following the buy-out of the Dolphin Shopping Centre in 2013, the new owner Legal and General Property (L&G) has been committed to introducing new methods to maintain a sustainable and commercially viable shopping destination.
Staff at the Dolphin Shopping Centre have worked tirelessly to help raise awareness of important environmental issues amongst its shoppers and retailers, with initiatives such as its Don’t Drive Wednesdays campaign, a recycling and food waste scheme, plus its hugely popular Eco Lounge event, whereby the Dolphin invited children to help create an environmentally-friendly unit using more than a quarter of a tonne of recycled materials.
The Dolphin Shopping Centre implements a Quarterly Sustainability Report which looks at energy, water, waste and CSR initiatives. The latest quarterly report revealed that no waste from the shopping centre goes to landfill and on average it recycles 74 per cent waste with a goal of increasing that to 80 per cent.
Centre manager, John Grinnell, said: “Being shortlisted for the Sustainable Tourism Award category is well-deserved recognition for the team’s efforts in identifying and controlling the environmental impact of the centre’s activities. We have employed a number of significant advances in such a short space of time and it feels great to be nominated for a Dorset Tourism Award and to be recognised for our commitment to sustainability.
Finalists will discover if they have won a gold, silver or bronze award at the Dorset Tourism Awards ceremony on Thursday October 16 at the Tank Museum, Bovington.
Successful businesses will automatically be considered for the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.
The Dolphin Shopping Centre has opened the doors and welcomed its new retailer, Pandora. The luxury jeweller is the latest store in an on-going plan for the Dolphin Centre to attract new brands to Poole.
The Pandora boutique is home to beautiful hand-finished pieces, including the new autumn collection and perfect Christmas gift ideas.
To celebrate its opening, Pandora rewarded the first 50 shoppers, who spent more than £75, with a complimentary ‘Silver Moments Bracelet’ which retails at £55.
The new Pandora boutique is also set to host an official launch event at the shopping centre on Saturday October 18 2014.
John Grinnell, centre manager, said: “We’re delighted that Pandora has opened a new store in the Dolphin Shopping Centre and are very excited for the official launch event in October!
“This is a great addition to our retail offering and we’re positive that the store will prove very popular with our shoppers, particularly for Christmas gift ideas.”
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