Two major high street retailers have announced they will close their stores on Boxing Day to give staff a “well-deserved break”.
Despite being just days away from October, Iceland and Home Bargains have already confirmed their Christmas opening hours with shoppers.
Last year, several stores and supermarkets remained closed on Boxing Day to give employees additional time off after two years of disruption and additional work caused by the pandemic.
It was a move welcomed by Usdaw, the shop and distribution staff union, who had been campaigning for retailers to give their staff “the longest break possible during the festive season to give them a well-deserved respite.”
Among those that kept all or most branches closed on December 26 last year were Aldi, John Lewis, Lidl, Pets at Home, Homebase, The Entertainer and Morrisons.
Christmas Day this year falls on a Sunday, making Monday, December 26, and Tuesday, December 27, Christmas bank holidays.
In a tweet, Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, confirmed that all supermarkets and Food Warehouse stores in Iceland would close on December 26 this year.
He wrote: “We will be closing all of our Island and Food Warehouse stores on Boxing Day to give our colleagues a well-deserved break with their friends and family.”
Home Bargains, which has stores all over Kenthe said in a post on his Facebook page, which is followed by nearly 1.5 million people, that he would also be closed on Boxing Day and again on New Year’s Day.
The company wrote: “We would like to thank all our staff for how hard they have worked this past year and we want you to relax and enjoy the Christmas holidays with your loved ones.”
Thousands of shoppers welcomed the announcement, with many suggesting that all stores should do the same.
Mandy Hill commented, “Well done! Christmas seemed more exciting when we were kids. When the shops closed, that marked the beginning of Christmas. Dad was off work for a few days, so everyone home. Proper family time.”
“More Christmas spirit than commercialism. If you hadn’t bought it before Christmas Eve, then you didn’t have it.”
While Christmas Day is still more than two months away, plans for the festive season appear to be accelerating, with shoppers expected to be more interested this year in spreading the cost of Christmas across other high bills and expenses. constantly increasing.
M&S has opened bookings for its Christmas caterer, Asda has unveiled many of its festive ranges which have already started hitting stores while last month Argos released its predictions for the most popular toys.
John Lewis has also launched a number of initiatives to help its customers spread out the costs of Christmas, including temporarily removing the minimum spend threshold for click-and-collect orders and extending its seasonal returns window.
This means that those who want to start their Christmas shopping can exchange or return products purchased after the end of September until January 28, the first time that the department store has made such a sale in September.