Another empty unit at the Dolphin Centre

Bournemouth Echo: MOVING ON: Kevin Hillman of Pro Aquatics who will be closing his shop at the Dolphin Shopping Centre in Poole next month MOVING ON: Kevin Hillman of Pro Aquatics who will be closing his shop at the Dolphin Shopping Centre in Poole next month

THE closure of an aquatics shop in Poole’s Dolphin Shopping Centre will leave half the units on the first floor Gallery section unoccupied.

Pro Aquatics is due to shut on March 10, with the owner blaming high rents and business rates.

Kevin Hillman, who runs the specialist tropical fish and equipment supplier with his wife Wendy, said: “It’s expensive to be here and it’s too quiet.

“It’s a combination of factors: internet purchasing, the recession, high rents and high rates. It all adds up so it’s not viable to be in a centre like this. All the landlords are interested in is high rents.

“They bend over backwards to help companies like Beales, Marks & Spencer and Next.

“They should do all these units at half the rent to fill them. We would love for someone to buy this and carry it on. Unfortunately, the prices restrict that sort of thing.”

Mr Hillman, who has been working in aquatics for the last 30 years, used to run a tropical fish centre in Wallisdown and has been operating in the Dolphin Shopping Centre for the last five years.

“We hope we might be moving again, but it will be outside where the overheads are lower. I would like to thank all our loyal customers. They have been wonderful.”

Among the businesses to disappear from the Gallery area in recent years have been a café, a clothes shop, a hairdresser, a make-up stall, a phone shop, a fabric shop, and most recently Jessop’s camera shop.

After Pro Aquatics closes, only Bath Travel, JS Jeweller, Discount Health Store and Lumin-Essence will be left on that side of the Gallery.

The other side has Sew Quick, Forest Holme’s Secret Wardrobe charity shop, Harrold Opticians and Jacquelines.

The remaining units on the first floor of the centre are occupied by Beales, Wilkinson’s and Clipper Restaurant.

John Grinnell, centre manager at the Dolphin shopping centre, said: “With the transition of the sale of the Dolphin Shopping Centre between Wereldhave and new owner Legal and General Property, we will be working hard to ensure that that all units within the centre are filled.

“As expected in transition periods such as this, some tenants of the centre will take the opportunity to shut or move the business to another location.

“We do sympathise with retailers during the current climate and have done all we can do to help.

“There are exciting plans ahead for the Dolphin Shopping Centre and this is the start of a strategy to introduce more independent stores and well-known brands into the centre.”

Comments (17)

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12:36pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Dr Strangelove says...

The cost of parking is legalised theft thats why I never go to the dolphin centre ever.
The cost of parking is legalised theft thats why I never go to the dolphin centre ever. Dr Strangelove

12:39pm Fri 22 Feb 13

The Seasider says...

I looked at opening a business in the Dolphin Centre a few years ago. Finding out the rent, rates and service charges quickly killed that venture. All commercial landlords have got to slash the property overheads if they want to keep and attract businesses to occupy the units.

I have a feeling that Beales may not stay very long, as a new director is in charge of Beales and will have to undoubtedly close some stores to keep the business afloat.

Perhaps the high rates of empty units and Beales situation was the reason behind Wereldhave selling the Dolphin Centre at such a big loss in such a short space of time?
I looked at opening a business in the Dolphin Centre a few years ago. Finding out the rent, rates and service charges quickly killed that venture. All commercial landlords have got to slash the property overheads if they want to keep and attract businesses to occupy the units. I have a feeling that Beales may not stay very long, as a new director is in charge of Beales and will have to undoubtedly close some stores to keep the business afloat. Perhaps the high rates of empty units and Beales situation was the reason behind Wereldhave selling the Dolphin Centre at such a big loss in such a short space of time? The Seasider

1:20pm Fri 22 Feb 13

wonderway says...

this always has been a problem for last 30 years no real reason to go up to this area of centre as all other businesses up there ususlly fail due to lack of foot fall there neeeds to be a rethink of marketing in this area
this always has been a problem for last 30 years no real reason to go up to this area of centre as all other businesses up there ususlly fail due to lack of foot fall there neeeds to be a rethink of marketing in this area wonderway

3:06pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Baywolf says...

And HMV next ..until they rebuild modernise and do something with that derelict of a bus station more will go..A hint..Southampton
And HMV next ..until they rebuild modernise and do something with that derelict of a bus station more will go..A hint..Southampton Baywolf

5:19pm Fri 22 Feb 13

skydriver says...

Do people really shop in Poole, cannt see why, it's dirty, unkept, expensive to park, and dirty car park, the multi story, and generally run down, marks out of ten .....O. Poole shopping is a no no.
Do people really shop in Poole, cannt see why, it's dirty, unkept, expensive to park, and dirty car park, the multi story, and generally run down, marks out of ten .....O. Poole shopping is a no no. skydriver

5:43pm Fri 22 Feb 13

manyogie says...

Like I said before, when the last shop shuts, what the Dolphin Management?
You could fill every shop, with local suppliers, but, you have to drop your rents.
Expecting such a massive return on your investments, when the Banks are only offering almost nil returns is just greed, pure and simple, and as long as the big shops pay, local business, local investment and local jobs suffer.
Like I said before, when the last shop shuts, what the Dolphin Management? You could fill every shop, with local suppliers, but, you have to drop your rents. Expecting such a massive return on your investments, when the Banks are only offering almost nil returns is just greed, pure and simple, and as long as the big shops pay, local business, local investment and local jobs suffer. manyogie

6:02pm Fri 22 Feb 13

West moors 1 says...

Al of these commercial centres have been over valued and the rents they expect to achieve are fantasy. Watch this space, in 2 to 3 years time the rents will start to fall.
Al of these commercial centres have been over valued and the rents they expect to achieve are fantasy. Watch this space, in 2 to 3 years time the rents will start to fall. West moors 1

6:33pm Fri 22 Feb 13

CoogarUK.com says...

I like Poole, especially the old town & Quay areas. M'Lady refuses to shop there though and I didn't really understand why until reading some of the above comments.
I like Poole, especially the old town & Quay areas. M'Lady refuses to shop there though and I didn't really understand why until reading some of the above comments. CoogarUK.com

7:23pm Fri 22 Feb 13

live-and-let-live says...

pro aquatics is a lovely shop and it will be missed. i hope the owner can find somewhere cheaper to set up again.
pro aquatics is a lovely shop and it will be missed. i hope the owner can find somewhere cheaper to set up again. live-and-let-live

8:38pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

manyogie wrote:
Like I said before, when the last shop shuts, what the Dolphin Management?
You could fill every shop, with local suppliers, but, you have to drop your rents.
Expecting such a massive return on your investments, when the Banks are only offering almost nil returns is just greed, pure and simple, and as long as the big shops pay, local business, local investment and local jobs suffer.
Trust me, the Dolphin Centre 'management' are doing the math. When they absolutely have to, they will drop the rents as so many of you suggest. Until that time, they will wring every possible penny out of the hard-working small business owner, and if that means some of them going to the wall, they won't shed any tears. It's business, pure and simple. Would you do any different, honestly?
[quote][p][bold]manyogie[/bold] wrote: Like I said before, when the last shop shuts, what the Dolphin Management? You could fill every shop, with local suppliers, but, you have to drop your rents. Expecting such a massive return on your investments, when the Banks are only offering almost nil returns is just greed, pure and simple, and as long as the big shops pay, local business, local investment and local jobs suffer.[/p][/quote]Trust me, the Dolphin Centre 'management' are doing the math. When they absolutely have to, they will drop the rents as so many of you suggest. Until that time, they will wring every possible penny out of the hard-working small business owner, and if that means some of them going to the wall, they won't shed any tears. It's business, pure and simple. Would you do any different, honestly? Letcommonsenseprevail

10:51pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Yankee1 says...

The Dolphin is a poor place for business.

Parking is a nightmare. The place is full of mongs trying to keep warm for free.

And what major shopping centre has its customers cut off by a level crossing?

Castlepoint. Or Southampton. Not the Dolphin.
The Dolphin is a poor place for business. Parking is a nightmare. The place is full of mongs trying to keep warm for free. And what major shopping centre has its customers cut off by a level crossing? Castlepoint. Or Southampton. Not the Dolphin. Yankee1

9:40am Sat 23 Feb 13

bb-Bournemouth says...

Skydiver -

I couldn't have put it better !!
Skydiver - I couldn't have put it better !! bb-Bournemouth

10:46am Sat 23 Feb 13

Hessenford says...

The cost of these unit is still based on the town centre footfall of years ago, high car parking charges have seen footfall drop by thousands but rents haven't.
Internet shopping cost nothing in petrol or parking and the cost of items are significantly lower.
John Grinnell, centre manager at the Dolphin shopping centre needs to remove his head from his rear end if he believes the rubbish he's talking, town centres like Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch are finished because of the anti car brigade, internet shopping and out of town centres are the new high streets, get used to it.
The cost of these unit is still based on the town centre footfall of years ago, high car parking charges have seen footfall drop by thousands but rents haven't. Internet shopping cost nothing in petrol or parking and the cost of items are significantly lower. John Grinnell, centre manager at the Dolphin shopping centre needs to remove his head from his rear end if he believes the rubbish he's talking, town centres like Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch are finished because of the anti car brigade, internet shopping and out of town centres are the new high streets, get used to it. Hessenford

8:35pm Sat 23 Feb 13

benjamin says...

I am continually amazed by people praising Castlepoint. I find it bleak and uninviting even in the summer. I have always believed that it has been built upsided down. The shops should be underneath and seperated from the weather.
I am continually amazed by people praising Castlepoint. I find it bleak and uninviting even in the summer. I have always believed that it has been built upsided down. The shops should be underneath and seperated from the weather. benjamin

11:13pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Yankee1 says...

Baywolf wrote:
And HMV next ..until they rebuild modernise and do something with that derelict of a bus station more will go..A hint..Southampton
Southampton is on the road to somewhere.

Poole is the gateway to......Swanage? Bere Regis?

The main road end at Poole, more with a whimper than a bang.

Want proof? Why do Southampton/Portsmou
th shine as ferry termini, and Poole withers?

Roads.
[quote][p][bold]Baywolf[/bold] wrote: And HMV next ..until they rebuild modernise and do something with that derelict of a bus station more will go..A hint..Southampton[/p][/quote]Southampton is on the road to somewhere. Poole is the gateway to......Swanage? Bere Regis? The main road end at Poole, more with a whimper than a bang. Want proof? Why do Southampton/Portsmou th shine as ferry termini, and Poole withers? Roads. Yankee1

11:14pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Yankee1 says...

Baywolf wrote:
And HMV next ..until they rebuild modernise and do something with that derelict of a bus station more will go..A hint..Southampton
Southampton is on the road to somewhere.

Poole is the gateway to......Swanage? Bere Regis?

The main road end at Poole, more with a whimper than a bang.

Want proof? Why do Southampton/Portsmou
th shine as ferry termini, and Poole withers?

Roads.
[quote][p][bold]Baywolf[/bold] wrote: And HMV next ..until they rebuild modernise and do something with that derelict of a bus station more will go..A hint..Southampton[/p][/quote]Southampton is on the road to somewhere. Poole is the gateway to......Swanage? Bere Regis? The main road end at Poole, more with a whimper than a bang. Want proof? Why do Southampton/Portsmou th shine as ferry termini, and Poole withers? Roads. Yankee1

11:15pm Sat 23 Feb 13

Yankee1 says...

benjamin wrote:
I am continually amazed by people praising Castlepoint. I find it bleak and uninviting even in the summer. I have always believed that it has been built upsided down. The shops should be underneath and seperated from the weather.
Parking. It is the only factor.

Why do people shop at Tower Park?

Parking.
[quote][p][bold]benjamin[/bold] wrote: I am continually amazed by people praising Castlepoint. I find it bleak and uninviting even in the summer. I have always believed that it has been built upsided down. The shops should be underneath and seperated from the weather.[/p][/quote]Parking. It is the only factor. Why do people shop at Tower Park? Parking. Yankee1

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