UK retailers gave their staff an extra day off on Boxing Day – but what does the New Year hold?
If staff and shoppers ever needed a break from the Christmas shopping rush, 2021 was the year.
Many were able to enjoy a well-deserved break in the form of an extra day off following Christmas Day.
Workers at Poundstretcher, Aldi and Lego are also set to get pay rises, bonuses or extra days off as a thank you for their hard work during Covid.
And though they closed their doors on Boxing Day last year, Asda, Homebase and Wickes are set to be open on December 26.
And over New Year, it's largely business as usual – though you might find some stores have reduced hours.
Marks and Spencer
The high street giant wrote to all its workers in August telling them not to come in on December 26 to say thanks for their hard work this year.
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The closure applied to all M&S stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Its Donington distribution centre and all of its support centres – including its customer contact centre – were also shut.
On New Year’s Eve, it will be open from 8am to 8pm and on New Year’s Day, it will reduce its hours to 10am to 6pm.
Check your local store's festive hours before you make the trip.
The grocer also announced in August that none of its 497 UK stores would open on December 26 as a reward for employees.
Last year, all Morrisons stores opened at 9am but it was voluntary for staff to work and those who did got double pay.
The retailer is open over New Year but the hours are different than usual.
Stores will open from 7am to 6pm on New Year's Eve and from 9am to 6pm on New Year's Day.
As with every year, Aldi staff got a day off on Boxing Day.
The discount supermarket never opens on Boxing Day and that tradition continued this year too.
Its stores will be closed on New Year's Eve and will not open again until 9.30am on January 2, so make sure you're stocked up for any celebrations before then.
Home Bargains is set to give staff a day off on both Boxing Day and New Year's Day this festive season.
It also closed at the earlier time of 5pm on Christmas Eve to allow its 22,000 employees to have a longer festive break.
In September, a spokesperson for the toy chain confirmed to The Sun that its stores will be closed on December 26.
This means staff will get Christmas Day and Boxing Day and will return to work on Monday December 27.
The nation's biggest pound shop chain also closed its doors on Boxing Day, having done the same last year.
Poundland stores will also be closed on January 1, 2022.
Sainsbury's said the majority of its supermarkets will be open from 7am to 7pm on New Year's Eve.
Convenience stores have different trading hours and will mostly be closing at 9pm.
On New Year's Day, most stores will be open between 8am and 8pm.
You can check your local store's opening hours through its store locator tool.
The decision was made "in recognition of extraordinary efforts" of staff during the pandemic.
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