‘Let workers enjoy Christmas!’ Britons vote to shut all high street shops on Boxing Day

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Marks & Spencer and Morrisons have decided to close their stores on Boxing Day, 2021, to give staff a longer Christmas break. All high street shops should do the same according to 96 percent of voters who took part in a poll of 1,164 people held from 3pm August 26 to 10am September 1.

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One reader said: “For goodness sake shops are open 364 days of the year, I don’t think one day less would be a great loss, and it would give all store workers a chance to enjoy Christmas.

“Anyone who thinks otherwise is selfish, to say the least.”

But other readers were not so supportive of the idea, one said: “For heaven’s sake, it’s the only legitimate reason to escape the in-laws!”

The brands Chief Executive for M&S, Steve Rowe, wrote to the company’s workforce of 70,000 to tell them the news and thank them for their hard work during Covid.

His letter read: “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.

“[This will] enable our colleagues to spend more time with their family and loved ones.”

Some readers pointed out that many staff would prefer to work over the Christmas period.

One said: “Many staff, who have no family, opt to work over Christmas.

“I have a friend whose husband died two years ago, she lives alone, her children live in Australia.

“Working over Christmas means she is mixing with people rather than sitting at home.”

Other readers raised the point that not all Britons celebrate Christmas.

They wrote: “A little tip that many of the staff really don’t care.

“They would appreciate Eid, Diwali or their respective new year dates off instead.”

Another reader agreed: “Personally, I’d remove all public holidays and leave it up to individuals to decide what days they want off.”

Only 40 percent of voters said they would support a move for stores to only open if staff volunteer to work on Boxing Day, 49 percent said they would not support the idea, and 11 percent were not sure what they thought about it.

When asked whether voters go shopping on Boxing Day, 78 percent said they never had, whilst 19 percent said they had a few times, and two percent said they usually do.

A reader remarked: “I would never shop on Boxing Day out of respect for the staff who thoroughly deserve the extra day.”

Last year, as everyone was instructed to stay at home by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Boxing Day spending dropped by £1billion in the UK, according to Barclaycard.

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Some readers liked the idea of shops closing so much that they would like to see it happening all year round.

Reader, Ivor Koph, said: “I would like to see all shops closed on the first Sunday each month for 10 months of the year.

“I would accept the first Sunday in December and January being the exception.”

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