THE family owned McElhinney’s of Ballybofey last night won the prestigious Drapers ‘Independent Department Store of the Year UK and Ireland’ award for the second time.
The awards recognise the very best brands, designers, and businesses in fashion retail. The 2014 ceremony was held at the glamorous The Brewery, London.
The store previously won the prestigious award, the fashion world’s Oscars, in 2003.
McElhinney’s also represented Irish retailers at the European e-Commerce Awards in Barcelona in June.
The well-known department store, which was founded by local man John McElhinney in 1971, was shortlisted with Jarrold, a department store based in the UK.
The store now employs more than 180 full and part-time staff and is a major draw to the Twin Towns.
The young entrepreneur purchased a van and went door to door, selling clothing and household goods, before opening his first shop in Glenfin Street, Ballybofey, in 1971.
Over the years, the department store has grown from strength to strength, continually updating and modernising and it now operates from a 90,000 sq ft building, and has more than 1,500 suppliers many of which are Irish.