Marks and Spencer to keep stores shut on Boxing Day
Marks and Spencer will shut all its 1,000 UK and Ireland stores on Boxing Day this year, giving its 70,000 staff an additional day off to spend time with their families during the festive season.
The day off applies to all M&S stores in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Donington Distribution Centre, and all of its support centres.
Last year the high street retailer said it had originally planned to open more than 200 stores on 26 December following a relaxation of shopping rules over the Christmas period. The decision was later reversed and stores remained closed on Boxing Day.
Last week, Morrisons announced it would shut its 497 UK stores on Boxing Day. The supermarket kept its stores open on last year, but it was voluntary for staff to work.
In a statement, Marks and Spencer CEO Steve Rowe 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.”
The company also announced it will extend opening hours at stores during the Christmas period, with a majority of branches staying open from 6am to midnight from Monday 20 December to Thursday 23 December.
Last year it was reported that retail footfall on Boxing Day, traditionally a key trading day for retailers, was worse than at the height of the national lockdown in the spring with shopper numbers down -87%.
A combination of tiered restrictions forcing non-essential retail to close in certain areas, Storm Bella, and a number of key retailers opting to close on Boxing Day to give staff a much needed day off, led to the dramatic drop.