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

A Milestone year for Rathfriland retailer Tom McAvoy at NR Awards!
Milestone: Tom and Ann McAvoy celebrated their multiple awards wins with family and staff from the Milestone Rathfriland.

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 further afield, 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.

There were celebrations aplenty in the Forecourt of the Year categories, with EUROSPAR Ladas Drive claiming the Forecourt of the Year Category 1 title. Judges praised both the forecourt and store, stating they were “immaculately presented in all areas”.


Forecourt Cat 1: Wendy McMurray (from category sponsor, Imperial Tobacco), Lisa Ballantine and Meagan Green.


And it was two-in-a-row for McCullagh’s Classic Service Station in Omagh, who once again claimed the Forecourt of the Year Category 2 title.

Brothers Jonathan and Terry McCullagh were delighted to secure the award for the second year in a row, and were thrilled with the judges’ comments, which stated the forecourt was “well designed” while the store “exceeded expectations in all respects”.


Forecourt Cat 2: Jonathan McCullagh, Dessie Aughey (from category sponsor, AirServ Ireland) and Terry McCullagh.


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.