Home Bargains, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons update shoppers on Christmas opening hours

By Elle May Rice

Christmas may not feel too close but it’ll be here before you know it - and stores across the UK are already making plans.

As early as August this year retailers began stocking their festive essentials, with The Range even putting up its Christmas trees 122 days before the big day.

As well as stocking up on all the necessities for Christmas, shops have also been planning their opening hours for the festive period.

READ MORE: Illuminated animal trail and Santa Experience returning to Knowsley Safari this Christmas

Several major retailers have already made the decision to alter their opening hours as a way of thanking their staff for their hard work.

So far Home Bargains, Morrisons and M&S have all announced that they will be closing their doors on Boxing Day. More are expected to follow, so we'll keep you updated here.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Home Bargains

The bargain retailer is shutting all its shops on Boxing Day as well as New Year's Day.

Christmas Eve will also see the shops close at the earlier time of 5pm.

The company also confirmed it will be shutting shops at the earlier time of 5pm on Christmas Eve as a way to thank staff for their hard work during the Covid pandemic.

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.

“As a family-run business we know the importance of being together at Christmas with those we care about most, now more than ever, and this is our way of saying thank you to all of our colleagues for their continued hard work and dedication.”

It isn't the first time Home Bargains has kept its doors shut on Boxing Day, having also given staff the day off in 2019 and 2020.

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer announced it will not be opening its stores on Boxing Day.

The retail giant said this is to thank its 70,000 colleagues for their hard work during the pandemic and will give workers more time to spend with their loved ones, according to the Mirror.

M&S also closed its stores on Boxing Day last year and it was "well-received by colleagues", says M&S.

Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, said: "Up and down the country, our colleagues have been there for our customers in the most challenging of circumstances.

"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."

This Christmas, M&S will be extending the opening hours of more stores in the week leading up to the big day.

The majority of stores will open from 6am until midnight across Monday, December 20 to Thursday, December 23.

A selected number of stores will be open until 8pm on Christmas Eve and selected stores will be open on New Year’s Day.

Morrisons

Morrisons said the break will allow its workers to “enjoy a two day weekend break with family, friends and other loved ones”.

The retailer kept its stores open on Boxing Day last year, but it was voluntary for staff to work and those who did got double pay.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We know everyone at Morrisons has worked incredibly hard over the last 18 months and continues to do so.

“Together we’ve responded to the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, serving our customers and local communities, and caring so much for each other.

"We’ve been listening hard to colleagues about how best to say Thank You, and are really pleased to confirm that this year we will be closing all our supermarkets on Boxing Day, so as many of our key workers as possible can enjoy a two day weekend break with family, friends and other loved ones."

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