While it may only be September now, the topic of Christmas is already very much alive in the world of retail.
Boxing Day has always been one of the busiest times of the year for retail employees across the world as shoppers flock to the stores to take advantage of seasonal sales.
However amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many retailers made the unprecedented move of shutting up shops on December 26 to allow workers to spend time with their loved ones.
Morrisons, M&S and Sainsbury’s are just some of the supermarkets that have commented on their Christmas opening hours already.
Here are all the shops that have confirmed they’ll stay closed this Boxing Day, as well as shutting as normal on Christmas Day:
Morrisons was the first retailer to reveal its doors would be closed this Boxing Day, and it will be the first time the Big 4 grocer has kept stores closed on December 26 in living memory.
The supermarket made the announcement to its 111,000 workers at the start of August.
Pets at Home
Pets at Home is the latest retailer to announce its retail stores and grooming salons will be closed on Boxing Day as a thank you to colleagues in recognition of their hard work throughout the year.
The retailer also kept its doors closed last year so its employees could spend time with loved ones during the short relaxation of lockdown rules.
Pets at Home chief executive officer Peter Pritchard said: “Our people are the beating heart of our business and they have worked tirelessly once again this year to ensure that the nation’s pets and their owners have access to everything they need to stay happy and healthy”
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer revealed plans to allow staff to have the day off on Boxing Day this year just weeks after Morrisons announced its doors would be closed.
The retailer’s chief executive Steve Rowe wrote to its 70,000 workers to inform them that the store closure will be to thank them for their efforts in recent months.
The closure will apply to all M&S-owned stores in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, its Donington Distribution Centre near Derby, and all of its support centres.
“As a small thank you for their incredible hard work, we’ve taken the decision to close our operations on Boxing Day once again this year, to enable our colleagues to spend more time with their family and loved ones,” Rowe said.
The discount retailer has also confirmed it will be shutting shops at the earlier time of 5pm on Christmas Eve.
It said it wanted to give workers more time to spend with family and friends over the Christmas season this year.
A spokesperson said: “We recognise how incredibly hard all of our colleagues have worked over the last year, to continue to serve the local communities that rely on them so much.
In light of this, we felt it was only right to reward store teams by taking the decision to close all of our stores on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and also close stores early at 5pm on Christmas Eve.
The retailer said that all its Argos and Habitat stores will also remain shut for the day.
“Christmas is a really special time for so many, but because of lockdown restrictions last year, lots of us weren’t able to celebrate in the way we wanted,” Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said.
“In recognition of this and to say a massive thank you to all our colleagues for everything they have done during the last challenging year, we will be closing all of our supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol filling stations, as well as Argos and Habitat stores, this Boxing Day.”
Poundland confirmed it will be closed on both Boxing Day and New Year’s Day this year.
The discounter has also confirmed that it will double the value of its Christmas voucher for its workers, giving every colleague £50 to spend.
Barry Williams, Poundland’s managing director said: “At the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020, we were the first retailer to commit to giving all our colleagues a well-earned rest at Christmas 2020 by keeping stores closed on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
“They deserve the same in 2021 and at our Christmas conference today in Manchester, we’ve shared that good news.“
Aldi will also be shutting all its 800 shops on Boxing Day, as it has done in previous years.
The discounter hasn’t put out an official statement but confirmed the news to The Mirror earlier this week, the retailer will reopen after Christmas and Boxing Day on December 27.