Echo launches Love to Shop awards to champion local stores
TOP shops across Cheltenham are being celebrated as the Echo launches new awards to honour the town's best stores.
We are championing excellence in the retail sector with our first Love to Shop Awards.
Stores and their staff can be nominated in a host of categories with the winners being announced at a ceremony in February.
Nominated shops will be featured in the Echo. The awards are supported by Cheltenham Borough Council, with the overall retailer category sponsored by the Regent Arcade.
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The competition follows the Echo Love Our Shops campaign, which showcases the vast array of stores in the borough.
Echo editor Kevan Blackadder said: "We launched our Love Our Shops campaign to celebrate the diversity of shops in Cheltenham. It has not only given us some great stories but also allowed shopkeepers to attract new customers. There are many more stories still to tell.
"The Love To Shop awards is a natural progression from this.
"As we have told the stories, they have highlighted just what a good job so many retailers do in the many different areas of their business.
"The awards will recognise those who achieve excellence.
"The scheme will provide great support for all our shops in the run-up to Christmas and then a celebration of the very best of them when we hold our awards ceremony next year."
The Echo is looking for nominations from across the town. Shops in the town centre, Bath Road, Montpellier, the Suffolks, the West End and outlying suburbs are all encouraged to enter.
Cheltenham Borough Council's town centre manager Martin Quantock praised Love To Shop as an "excellent initiative".
He said: "We all know retailing is pretty tough at the moment, so to promote all the skills of retailing in a competition such as this can only be a good thing.
"I hope the retailers will recognise that this will be a really good way to help raise their standards, and also a great way to promote themselves, particularly if they were to win one of the categories. What better way to recognise the hard work of staff than by being featured in the paper.
"With the ever-present competition to the town centre shops provided by the internet and out- of-town shopping, it has never been so important to support the local shops to ensure the town remains attractive, competitive and viable."
To nominate a shop and see all the categories, visit Love to shop website. The closing date is January 11.