Following this iconic department store’s closure along with the rest of the Debenhams empire, Bobby & Co plan to open their doors this September in Bournemouth.

Careful restoration, a fun customer experience and an ethical ethos are the pillars of this project and will see Bobby’s of Bournemouth reborn in 2021. Highlights will include the UK’s largest contemporary-gallery, the world’s first food and beverage outlet for dogs and the reinstatement of the original 1930s architecture. 


Bobby’s History 

Bobby & CoIn 1915, Bobby & Co opened in The Square in Bournemouth and traded under that name for over 50 years. A rebrand to become part of the Debenhams group happened in 1972 until its collapse earlier this year. The building is now in the hands of Verve Properties who hope that this commitment to restore Bobby’s to its former glory will be welcomed by local residents and visitors alike. 

Verve Properties aim to regenerate old buildings to bring communities together. They have an ethical and sustainable ethos and focus on working with local, independent, socially conscious brands to keep pace with the changes the pandemic has brought to consumer behaviour. 


Bobby’s Rebirth 

Verve’s plans are a “celebration of both the Bobby’s name and original architectural style” according to Ashley Nicholson Director of Verve Properties. The renovation will include repairing the copper domes that top the building, reinstating the flagpoles, removing the 1970’s canopy and replacing it with the original design, bringing back the 1933 front entrance design and installing new ornate first floor balconies, as well as extensive interior modernisation. 


When will Bobby’s Reopen? 

The original opening date has had to be pushed back due to pandemic difficulties and many of the team having to self-isolate. The new opening date will be Thursday 9th September, which will include the Beauty Hall, Sushi Bar and DROOL Food Hall for Dogs (the world’s first food and beverage outlet for dogs). 

The UK’s largest run contemporary-gallery and Bobby’s Ice Cream Parlour will still be opening as planned in August. 


Reinventing the High Street 

The property company’s decision to invest in Bobby’s came from a strong belief in the potential for UK high streets to reinvent themselves. Ashley Nicholson comments: 

“If shoppers are going to be tempted back into town centres, then retailers need to value three key elements in any new structure and design.  

“The first is to consider what kind of shopping experience people will still want “in real life”- beauty, clothing and footwear are good examples of retail that people want to try out in person.  

“The second element should focus on how to make the shopping experience a fun and enjoyable one.  

“The third should be to remember that ultimately town centres are there to serve the local community. 

“We are very excited to be able to bring this ethos to our plans for Bobby’s, bringing back the glamour and the style of the original Bobby’s from the early 20th Century”. 


We wish Bobby’s every success in reopening and look forward to seeing the revived store creating exciting customer experiences once again.