M&S to close stores on Boxing Day as a ‘small thank you’ to staff

Staff will be able to ‘spend more time with loved ones’ after ‘challenging circumstances’ this year

Kate Ng
Wednesday 25 August 2021 10:39 BST
M&S has launched a new training initiative to help it’s partially sighted customers
M&S has launched a new training initiative to help it’s partially sighted customers (Getty Images)

All Marks & Spencer store staff will be able to spend Boxing Day with their loved ones, as the retailer is set to close its 1,000 UK and Ireland stores as a gift to them.

On top of the closure of all stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, M&S will also close its support centres and warehouse in Castle Donington on 26 December.

M&S confirmed the decision via Twitter, writing: “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.

The retailer’s chief executive, Steve Rowe, wrote to staff last week to inform them of the decision and give them more time to arrange their Christmas plans.

It marks the second year in a row that M&S stores will be closed on Boxing Day. It made a last-minute decision to close on Boxing Day 2020 after a “uniquely challenging year”.

Over the Christmas period, most M&S stores will be open for longer and on Christmas Eve, some stores will stay open until 8pm.

It comes after Morrisons announced earlier this month that its stores would also be closed on Boxing Day. John Lewis and Waitrose have also said most of their shops will be closed on that day, which has been the case for several years.

Boxing Day is usually one of the busiest days for retailers, marked by throngs of shoppers hoping to get a bargain during the post-Christmas sales. However, footfall on Boxing Day sales was down by more than half in 2020, compared to the year before, when non-essential retail was closed across most of the country due to coronavirus restrictions.

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