Some supermarkets have already decided to close on Boxing Day to pay thanks to staff - with Christmas just three months away.
Morrisons, M&S and Sainsbury’s are just some of the leading names that have revealed their opening hours over the Christmas period already - which includes stores shutting on December 26.
We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below
The unprecedented move to close on Boxing Day comes as supermarket staff have been working throughout the pandemic with workers also enforcing Covid regulations.
Bosses have said staff having an extra day off to spend more time with their loved ones is a small way of saying thank you for their hard work.
Here are all the shops that have confirmed they’ll stay closed this Boxing Day.
Sainsbury’s has said it will keep all its stores shut this Boxing Day.
The UK’s second largest grocer said it will keep all of its supermarket, convenience stores and petrol filling stations shut as a “thank you” to its roughly 170,000 colleagues.
Sainsbury’s added that all its Argos and Habitat stores will also remain shut for the day.
Sainsbury’s said senior leaders at the firm made the decision after listening closely to colleagues and trade unions.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “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.
“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.
“I want to thank our customers in advance for their understanding, which will mean as many of our team as possible can have a well-deserved break to spend time with loved ones.”
Bosses at Morrisons have told staff they can have Boxing Day off this year as a thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.
The supermarket made the announcement to its 111,000 workers in August.
It will be the first time the grocer has shut stores on December 26 in living memory.
Last year, several rivals agreed to give staff the day off to spend time with families and loved ones after one of the hardest years in retail, with shelves stripped bare and workers battling to keep the nation fed during the pandemic.
Joanne McGuiness, national officer at shop workers’ union Usdaw, said: “The last year-and-a-half has been unlike any other.
“The pandemic meant shop workers stepped up and kept essential services running. We welcome Morrisons doing the right thing by their staff with the closure of supermarkets on Boxing Day.
“Key workers have done so much this year and we are asking retailers to give their staff the longest possible break over the festive season to provide them with a well-deserved breather. We don’t think this is too much to ask for.”
Marks and Spencer is also shutting on Boxing Day, giving 700,000 workers the day off in the process.
The supermarket chain announced the news on Twitter in August.
A spokesperson said: “Our colleagues have been there for our customers during challenging circumstances this year.
“As a small thank you for their incredible hard work, we will once again be closing our operations on Boxing Day, enabling our colleagues to spend more time with loved ones.”
It applies to all M&S-owned stores in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, its Donnington Distribution Centre near Derby, and all of its support centres, The Mirror reports.
It marks the second year in a row that M&S stores will be closed on Boxing Day.
Aldi is also saying thanks to its staff by closing on Boxing Day.
The store’s website has confirmed a two-day festive break on December 25 and 26 this year, like they have done previously.
The supermarket will also extend their opening hours from 7am – 11pm Monday to Friday, in the run up to Christmas Eve.
Waitrose stores, except those in Welcome Break motorway service stations and Shell forecourts, will be closing on Boxing Day, according to its website.
On Christmas Eve, the majority of stores will open 7am-6pm while the store closes for Christmas Day.
Most stores will be open for extended hours in the run up to Christmas Eve, closing at 11pm and some convenience shops will open until midnight.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.