TWO Malvern town centre greeting card sellers have been named among the best of their kind at an industry awards ceremony.

The Card Emporium at Great Malvern Post Office in Abbey Road, and Austin and Co, yards away on Belle Vue Terrace, were both category winners in the Retas, this year's greeting card retailing awards.

And the owners of both businesses were at the awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel, London, which was hosted by celebrity and comedian Rob Deering, to pick up their awards.

The Card Emporium beat off the competition to win the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer Award for Wales and the Midlands. And Austin and Co was named the Best Greeting Card Retailer Newcomer award. Sean Austin, owner of Austin and Co, said: "To be a finalist was a great honour, but to win, especially given the high standard of the other nominees, is beyond our wildest dreams.

"To think three years ago, I was a relative novice in retailing, never mind stationery and card retailing; and now we have been recognised by the industry with one of their highest accolades. If anything, it just reinforces what we’ve expected all along; we must be doing something right."

Now in their tenth year, the Retas awards recognise excellence across the whole greeting cards retailing spectrum, from independents on the high streets through to department stores and supermarkets.

All the winners in all the retail categories were arrived at as a result of huge nationwide nomination process. Earlier this year, over 2,000 Retas forms were distributed to UK greeting card publishers, who nominated the retailers that they felt to be the worthy winners in each of the categories.