Newtownards retailer’s delight after winning national award

Newtownards retailer’s delight after winning national award
Julie Brown is presented with her award by Tracey Hart, Commercial Director at News UK and Rory Bremner, who hosted the awards.

County Down newsagent, Julie Brown saw off competition from across the UK and Ireland to win a top award from one of Europe’s biggest employers’ associations.

The Fed (Federation of Independent Retailers) is a not-for-profit organisation with more than 10,000 members throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Julie, who owns Livingstones in Newtownards, was named Newsagent of the Year at the exclusive 2024 Fed Awards. She was presented with the award by Tracey Hart, Commercial Director at News UK, which sponsored the category.

The judges said: “Livingstones has highlighted that a strong focus on getting it right helps develop and expand a business. It is a spacious, bright and tidy shop with a good range of products, offering a great service to the locals, everything a good newsagent should be.”

Julie’s ingenuity stunned judges and her personalised service whilst being surrounded by petrol forecourts, supermarkets and convenience stores that don’t pay attention to the news and magazine category. Customers stay loyal to Livingstones, not only for its 27 shelves of magazines but because it can provide unique titles not found anywhere else. Julie is becoming a known name in the area for providing a key service as a newsagent.

The glittering ceremony was hosted by renowned impressionist, comedian and satirist Rory Bremner at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham on 18th June.

“I’m absolutely blown away,” said Julie. “All credit to all my staff, all my family who are right behind us, my mam and dad who are no longer with us who started the business 49 years ago. We grew up in the industry, we’re still there and just want to keep it going.”