A NEW Jack Wills shop has opened its doors to the Bournemouth public, becoming the first branch of the fashion chain in Dorset.

The popular clothing brand has opened a two-floor store at The Arcade, off Old Christchurch Road, which features both men’s and women’s clothing.

The store is also set to expand after Christmas to allow for a greater stock range available to customers.

Ollie Cooke, temporary store manager at the Bournemouth branch, said he expects Jack Wills to thrive in Bournemouth.

“It’s a little bit off the high-street but as people find us it will start to get a lot busier, and it’s going to be a popular store,” he told the Daily Echo.

“We opened on Thursday and Saturday has been considerably busier than the past two days.

“So far customers have said we have a smaller range than expected, however there is still a really good choice of products. We’ve got a lot of gifting in and we’ve had a very good initial impact."

He added: “Customers seem excited to see what we will bring after Christmas with the expansion. We will be moving the store slightly further back and replacing our current staircase with a spiral staircase, which will create a lot more room on our shop floor.”

Bournemouth resident Michelle Johnston, 50, is delighted that Jack Wills has chosen to open a store in the town.

She said: “The new store is fantastic, I'm really pleased indeed. It’s always nice to come to town and find there is a new shop here.

“It’s really convenient to have a Jack Wills so local now, as otherwise we would have to go to Winchester or Southampton, so this is great.

“It’s brilliant how many people are out in Bournemouth as well. The town is buzzing everywhere and it’s good to see the quality brands coming here," she added.

Peter Williams and Robert Shaw founded the Jack Wills brand in 1999. It was named after one of the co-founders' grandparents.

It was originally heavily marketed towards university students, using the slogan and trademark 'University Outfitters' to reflect the inspiration behind the brand.