Proud Lion comic store roars into Echo shops competition
COMIC book store Proud Lion is hoping its name will be a sign of things to come as it enters the Echo's celebration of local shops.
The independent business, which has been based in Albion Street, Cheltenham, since March 2008, is one of the firms being nominated for our Love to Shop awards.
Proud Lion, which is run by Ben Fardon, sells a wide range of products, from American comics and graphic novels to toys, action figures, games and T-shirts.
Ben, 32, admitted he had always had a love of the art form.
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"I've always been interested in comics and, after I managed a comic book shop elsewhere, I knew I wanted to run my own place," he said.
"I was massively into comics when I was growing up. It started with the old favourites like The Beano and The Dandy and developed from there."
Ben believes it is important for stores like him to nestle alongside the bigger companies in towns. "Independent shops give a town its flavour and character," he said. "Otherwise all you get is the same shops in every town."
Proud Lion has now been nominated for the best customer service award in the inaugural competition.
Love to Shop champions the excellence of retail businesses across Cheltenham with awards which recognise their creativity and hard work.
The awards follow the Echo's Love Our Shops campaign, which showcases the vast array of stores in the borough.
Shops across the borough can be nominated for the competition – with a host of categories for national and independent stores – and winners will be announced in February.
There will be awards for the best overall retailer, newcomer, retail security, customer service, sales representative, window display and marketing campaign, as well as the website wonder prize. National and independent businesses will each win an award in the overall retailer, window display and marketing campaign categories.
The awards are supported by Cheltenham Borough Council, with the overall retailer category sponsored by the Regent Arcade.
Ben said it was a real honour to be put forward for the prize. He added: "It's great that our customers think we're worthy of the best customer service award."
To nominate a shop, or for more information, go to Thisisgloucestershire/lovetoshop .