Chapel Hill Comics (on W. Franklin Street) is a bright, welcoming store with a friendly staff and diverse clientele (as you might expect in a college town). I’ve been shopping there for many years and have had nothing but good experiences. When I walk in on Wednesday my books are out of their folder before I even get to the register—benefit of being a regular!—but even when I’d fallen out of comics for a couple of years the owner, Andy, greeted me by name when I finally came back in. All the employees do a great job of engaging with customers, whether they are just browsing or asking for recommendations.
At least half (if not more) of their stock is indie stuff, or other beautiful/interesting books, not necessarily comics, but with a focus on graphic arts. They have a good-looking kids section too; I see kids in there all the time, and I also see parents asking for and getting recommendations. They have Staff Picks throughout the store, with the staffer’s name, which is nice for making your own judgements or finding someone to ask about a given book. I’m not sure how many employees there are right now—only 4 or 5 I think—and until recently two of them were women (a favorite has just moved away).
They host a variety of events, some for kids and some for adults, and have a monthly book club (often female-led). The often spotlight local creators, both in events and by carrying their (often self-published) works.
It makes me happy when I’m there and the store is bustling and I look around and see that female and PoC customers are the majority. I’m sure that anyone who goes in will be given a friendly, helpful welcome.
Love the love for Chapel Hill Comics and definitely think it’s very female friendly! One clarification: the book group is always female-led, b/c I lead it. ;)