AN EMPORIUM in Christchurch is opening a new section of the retail store following a busy couple of months since its opening.

The Fantastic Things Emporium in Saxon Square has expanded into the upstairs section of the building, which will include a café and host of new traders with new and impressive stalls.

Having opened on June 21 this year with 29 traders, the emporium has grown to house 100 different small businesses and designers in the former Argos building.

Retail manager Sian Hillman said: “It has been great; we have been really busy, and load of people have been coming through the door which is what we want.

“The footfall has been really good; we have had between 500 and 1,000 people coming through the door every day and that is just on a normal day.

“We only started measuring the footfall back in September. During the summer holiday, it was even busier.”

The upstairs section of the emporium opened on Friday, October 1, although some traders are still putting final touches to their stalls.

Managing director Mark Battistini said: “It has been a case of constant growth; it has grown a lot quicker than we thought it would.

“We weren’t planning on moving upstairs in this unit until around Christmas time or even into the next year but here we are.

“We managed to move into the back of the ground floor area very quickly. Again, we thought that would take a few months to find to number of traders to fill the space but following our official opening, we had so much interest in people wanting to move in that it was on two weeks.

“We are hoping for the same up here.”

The upper floor of the building does not currently have disabled access, but the Mr Battistini says this is something the emporium will look to address in the coming months.

The owners of Fantastic Things Emporium say they still have space for an extra 50 to 60 stalls and are welcoming traders and small businesses to apply for units in their store.

“There are still plenty of spaces upstairs and we are constantly expanding,” added Mr Battistini. “Small businesses owners and traders are more than welcome to come in and see the space and talk to one of us about what they would like to do, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

“I think the upstairs area will be great. We want to keep a running theme through the building, but this new space is turning into quite a contemporary area.

“We are really just riding on top of a wave at the moment, and we want to keep the momentum going whilst people are still interested.”