SHOPPERS flocked to the reopening of Bobby's in Bournemouth Square on Thursday, September 9.

On the day of the public opening the Daily Echo went down to the shop to see what people made of the department store, with a general positive reaction all round.

The new look store features a beauty hall, an art gallery, a dog hall, and a pan-Asian restaurant which went down well with Bournemouth retirees Ron and Margaret Bridle.

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Pic: CorinMesser/BNPS

The highly anticipated relaunch of Bobby and Co half a century after it closed could offer the blueprint for a department store renaissance.

The grand Art Deco style building in the seaside town of

Picture: Corin Messer 

Mrs Bridle said: “We've come down on their first day of opening, I think it's excellent. I loved the sushi bar, having thought I wouldn't,” she told the Echo.

“Compared to the original store it's modern, as you expect it to be, but it’s excellent because you’ve got to move forward with the times.”

Bournemouth Echo: Margaret and Ron Bridle enjoying a coffee outside of Bobby's

Mrs Bridle said her grandmother used to take her out for tea in the original store, but it was one of the new features which she enjoyed.

“I love the art gallery, that's wonderful. It will be interesting to see how that progresses.”

One of the other big features is the dog hall, which caught the attention of Jessica Balousek for her four-legged companion Rolo.

The 24-year-old said: “We’ve never heard of the store until today. We’ve come specifically here because we’ve heard about the dog hall and thought it sounded quite interesting. I’m really excited to try out the dog cafe.

“He’s a puppy and so he needs to socialise and it's nice to get a few dog treats for him.”

The Bournemouth resident said the store was “great, otherwise it's just empty” and liked the fact it brings jobs and “something else to the town.”

Also visiting the dog hall, amongst the other amenities, was Louisa and David Graham, both from Bournemouth.

Mrs Graham said: “I’m here to support South Coast Makers Shop as I know the girls that do it, but I wanted to come and see what it was about and see the beauty hall as well.”

“It looks lovely, I can not wait. It's going to be so exciting, I can not wait for the roof terrace and the restaurant because it's just what Bournemouth needs.

“We’re excited for the dog parlour. There are so many people with dogs here, without anywhere like this, it's amazing.”

Her husband David said it was great to see the former Debenhams store being used again, having recently been in Winchester where the old department store lays empty.

He said: “I think it's great, to open it up to independents is great. The building always been a massive part of the high street.”