AN empty store in one of Bournemouth's main shopping streets could soon host a German shoe shop.

The unit in Commercial Road used to house a branch of clothing store Next, but that closed in January at roughly the same time as the former branch of Miss Selfridge by Debenhams in the Square.

That store was filled earlier this summer with the arrival of sandwich brand Pret a Manger, and this week shop-fitting work is under way at the Next unit.

Town centre councillor David Smith said he had been informed the new owner was German shoe and sportswear firm Deichmann SE.

"We don't know what the opening date will be yet," he said.

"But I am absolutely delighted that we are getting another quality retailer in the town centre, it is just what we need."

On its website, Deichmann UK advertises men's formal shoes at prices ranging from £59.99 to £24.99, while ladies' heels and court shoes range from £17.99 to £54.99.

The store sells children's shoes, brand trainers and an array of bags and accessories.

The company has just under 100 United Kingdom stores at the end of 2016 as well as branches in 24 other countries.

Martin Davies, president of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said he was not aware of Deichmann opening in Bournemouth, but said if the shoe shop is coming to the town it would be a positive addition.

"If it is true I think it is fantastic news, with a international quality business coming to the town.

"It is a great sign for Bournemouth and they would be very welcome here."

The first Deichmann opened in the United Kingdom in 2001.

On the company's success in the UK to date, Deichmann's website says: "The Deichmann Group has applied its successful concept of fashionable, quality shoes at excellent prices combined with friendly service to its stores for the UK market and is growing year upon year.

"The UK range is individually adapted to UK market conditions, taking country specific trends into account."

The business also says worldwide it plans to open 262 new retail premises.

Deichmann was unavailable to provide a comment.