A South Derry woman who “worked her way up” after joining Boots as a 16-year-old student, has been shortlisted by the Oracle Retail Week Awards as store manager of the year across the UK.
Julie Cushley, from Magherafelt, says she is really looking forward to attending the awards ceremony in Grosvenor House Hotel in London on March 13 when the winner will be announced.
Last year the ceremony - considered the ‘Oscars’ of the retail industry attended by all the major retailers - and celebrities like Simon Cowell.
She is currently the store manager in the Boots premises at Crescent Link in Londonderry having started her career with the company 23 years.
Talking about her shortlisting for the prestigious award - she is the only person from Northern Ireland, indeed Ireland - to reach the final, she said: “Obviously I am very proud to have reached this stage and to represent Boots UK, but I am very proud of myself because I have worked hard over the years on my own development and to win such an award would be truly amazing.”
Working on her personal development has meant travelling to work across the Province since joining the Boots in Magherafelt.
“I went on to take up several supervisory roles before getting my first management position in Yorkgate in Belfast,” Julie explained.
“From then I have held many management positions right across Northern Ireland, returning for a short time to Magherafelt Boots as store manager while I was expecting my first child.
“About three years ago I opened their new edge of town store in Crescent Link and have remained there ever since.” In 2013 she won an internal company award for Regional ‘Best of the Best’ store leader. Her area manager nominated her for store manager of the year in the Oracle Retail Week Awards, which is an external award.
She added: “Just before Christmas I got the call to say that I had been shortlisted to the last eight across the UK. The shortlist consists of managers from Argos, Currys, B&Q amongst others.”