A Milestone year for Rathfriland retailer Tom McAvoy at NR Awards!

A Milestone year for Rathfriland retailer Tom McAvoy at NR Awards!
Host of the 2023 Neighbourhood Retailer Awards was Donna Traynor.

It was a night of glitz, glamour and celebration at the 2023 Neighbourhood Retailer Awards, with the great and good of the retail industry coming together at the Crowne Plaza Belfast.

The night was a rousing success for County Down store, Milestone Rathfriland who scooped a total of four awards including the coveted Northern Ireland Retailer of the Year 2023 title.

One of Neighbourhood Retailer’s most successful winners, this is the fourth time they have taken the prestigious award home.

Owner and director of the Milestone, Tom McAvoy is a well-known and highly respected name right across Northern Ireland and this year was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A deserving winner, the 550-strong audience took to their feet, giving Tom a standing ovation as he received his award on stage.

Indeed, the Milestone team snapped up other awards on the night, namely Neighbourhood Store of the Year Category 4 and Food to Go Store of the Year, marking a hugely successful year for the County Down store.

Now in their 26th year, the Neighbourhood Retailer Awards are the annual showcase of industry excellence and hundreds of the country’s leading retailers gathered in the ballroom, waiting with anticipation to find out this year’s winners.

Hosted by Donna Traynor, the winning stores in 19 categories were announced over the course of the gala awards evening, appearing on stage to collect their awards.

With another record year for entries, this was a fantastic awards evening for winners and finalists on the night – with two stores also Highly Commended in their respective categories – Daly’s Service Station Dungannon in Outstanding Customer Service and McDade’s Centra Clogher in Forecourt of the Year Category 2.

Huge congratulations to all of our winners and finalists on the night – find out the full list of winners below.


Retailer of the Year 2023:

Winner: Milestone Rathfriland

Mairead McCaul, Roisin McGivern, Ann McAvoy, Noel Hadden, Tom McAvoy, Alex Hammond, Gary Crory, Carla Rooney and Katie McAvoy.


Lifetime Achievement Award:

Tom McAvoy

Paul Caves (from category sponsor, Stephens Catering Equipment), Tom McAvoy and Bill Penton.


Store Manager of the Year:

Winner: Wendy Camley of McDade’s Centra in Clogher

Wendy Camley (right) and Nikki Murran (from category sponsor, Excel Recruitment).


Neighbourhood Store of the Year Cat 1:

Winner: ViVO Essentials Ballygowan

Michelle Doherty, Erin Doherty and Conor Blythe (from category sponsor, JTI).


Outstanding Customer Service:

Winner: McAtamney’s Traditional Butchers

Declan McAtamney and Mark McAtamney from McAtamney’s Traditional Butchers.


CTN of the Year:

Winner: McCullagh’s Centra Campsie Road, Omagh

Michelle McCullagh and Niall McCullagh with Chris Marsden, from category sponsor, Nordic Spirit (left).


Neighbourhood Store of the Year Cat 2:

Winner: ViVO Dromore

Geraldine Morgan (from category sponsor, Lockton), Noel McQuaid, Aidan Corry and Michael Corry.


Bakery of the Year:

Winner: The Heatherlea

Brian Martin, Mary Hayden, Steven Ruddock (from category sponsor McGrath Bakery Services), Patricia Getty, Paul Getty, Linda Smyth and Jowita Stuart.


Off Licence of the Year:

Winner: Hughes Foodhall Camlough

James Hughes, Grainne Hughes, Gerard Hughes, Jack McAllister (from category sponsor, JustMist Wholesale), Jolene McAllister and Joe Goodwill.


Neighbourhood Store of the Year Cat 3:

Winner: Eurospar Cullybackey

Robert Foster, Lisa Andrews (from category sponsor, Drinks Inc) and David Agnew.


New Product Launch of the Year:

Winner: Carnbrooke Lisburn

Sarah McMillan (left) and Gail Courtney (from category sponsor, Ireland’s Forecourt and Convenience Retailer Magazine).


Community Store of the Year:

Winner: Creighton’s Finaghy

Gail Boyd, Dave Mackay (from category sponsor, Camelot), Sue-Ellen Gorman, Jennifer Clarke and Danielle Lear.


Neighbourhood Store of the Year Cat 4:

Winner: Milestone Rathfriland

Noel Hadden, Katie McAvoy and Gary Crory with Liam O’Connor (from category sponsor, Biopax) (far left).


Butcher of the Year:

Winner: Cunningham’s Butchers

Christopher, Bernadette, Donna and James Cunningham with Liam O’Connor from category sponsor, Biopax (far left).


Forecourt of the Year Cat 1:

Winner: Eurospar Ladas Drive

Lisa Ballantine with Neighbourhood Retailer Editor, Caroline Rainey.


Food to Go Store of the Year:

Winner: Milestone Rathfriland

Dylan Doherty (from category sponsor, Kelsius), Andrew Fleming and Alex Hammond.


Fresh Food Store of the Year:

Winner: Spar Castlederg

William Gilpin (from category sponsor, Gilfresh), Charlie Hamilton and Alison Logue.


Forecourt of the Year Cat 2:

Winner: McCullagh’s Classic

Jonathan McCullagh, Dessie Aughey (from category sponsor, AirServ Ireland) and Terry McCullagh.


Newcomer of the Year:

Winner: Lynch’s Eurospar Greysteel

Michael Flannigan (from category sponsor, FEB Chartered Accountants), Alastair Connor, Gregory Nicholl and Gary Lynch.


Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year:

Winner: Musgrave NI

Jennifer Morton (left) with Margaret Connolly (from category sponsor, Ireland’s Wedding Journal).


We will have a special awards supplement in the next issue of Neighbourhood Retailer, coming soon!