Poole bucks national retail trend with new retailers

(L-R) John Grinnell Centre Manager and Robert Saluzzo Owner
(L-R) John Grinnell Centre Manager and Robert Saluzzo Owner

The Dolphin Shopping Centre in Poole is due to welcome six new retailers in the coming weeks, following a boost in demand for retail space in the town centre.

Despite the declining national retail landscape, a wide range of retailers have committed to the centre, varying from independent start-ups to national scale businesses. Some retailers have already opened their doors to customers (Toy Town, Beales and The Hungry Racoon), whilst others are set to welcome shoppers in the coming weeks.

The full list of retailers includes:
•    Kaspas Desserts – National dessert café
•    Hungry Racoon – Local independent café
•    Valentina’s – Shoe shop
•    Mobile Gift – Mobile phone repair shop
•    Toy Town – Toy Shop
•    Beales – Department store

Amongst the signings are two food-based retailers. The Hungry Racoon, an independent café which serves a wide range of dishes, has seen a steady flow of business since opening earlier in the month. The café makes fresh dough each morning, using a traditional family recipe which dates back to 1863.
Robert Saluzzo, owner of The Hungry Racoon, commented: “The Dolphin Centre is incredibly well positioned for both morning and lunch trade, which so far has proved successful. Having worked in an office block nearby, I felt there was an opportunity to offer commuters and local workers fresh and tasty food within a friendly and welcoming setting.”

The second food retailer to open is a local branch of the national chain, Kaspas Desserts. Offering a menu that includes waffles, crepes, cakes, and puddings, the business is set to occupy the unit that neighbours HMV.
Referencing the attraction of opening a branch in the  Dolphin Centre, Rajeev Sharma, Kaspas Franchisee owner, said: “Poole is a vibrant location with a lot to offer and we are extremely excited to open our doors to customers in the local community.”

Inside the centre, work is currently underway on the unit in-between Clarks and H.Samuel. Independent retailer, Valentina Beautiful Shoes, is due to open its store in the coming weeks. This opening will mark the business’ second store, with its first located in Bournemouth town centre.

Tina Williams, owner of Valentina’s, explained: “As an independent trader, opening a unit at the centre presented an ideal opportunity for the business. Poole is a fantastic location for us to branch out into, and with such a friendly atmosphere in the centre, we are excited to be welcoming our customer base into our new store as soon as possible.”

Centre Manager, John Grinnell, added: “I am really pleased to welcome such a wide range of retailers into our centre. The high level of interest shown by these businesses demonstrates the desirability of the local retail landscape that we have here in Poole. I wish them luck on their openings and am excited to see the public’s reaction to these new additions to the centre.”

The Dolphin Shopping Centre is currently open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 6.30pm, and Sundays from 10am to 5.30pm. Elderly and vulnerable customers are encouraged to shop between the hours of 9am to 10am, whilst NHS and key workers will be given priority between 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Each retailers’ specific opening times are available on their website.

Please visit www.dolphinshoppingcentre.co.uk for more information.

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