Marks & Spencer has followed suit of other retail chains with its decision to close its stores on Boxing Day.
The retailer had previously planned to open over 200 shops, but has changed its decision after the UK government and devolved administrations announced the five-day “Christmas Bubble” plans.
M&S stores to close stores on Boxing Day
On Boxing Day, the company - which has around 600 stores - will close all of its owned stores in the UK, alongside its customer contact centre and its distribution centre in Castle Donington.
The company said the decision about stores being closed on 26 December comes after the announcement that up to three households will be able to spend time together between 23-27 December, including Boxing Day.
Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, said: “Throughout the pandemic, our colleagues have gone above and beyond to deliver for our customers and as we enter the busy festive season they are doubling down on their efforts once again to help our customers deliver the Christmas magic for their families and friends.
"This has been a uniquely challenging year for everyone and this Christmas, the celebrations we have, will be more precious than ever.
Mr Rowe explains that this is why the chain has “taken the decision to close our operations on Boxing Day, so that our colleagues can enjoy more special time with their loved ones.
"This is a big decision, but it is absolutely the right one given the incredible effort everyone has made in the most challenging of circumstances.”
Retail chain Home Bargains has also decided to close its stores on Boxing Day, which will mark the third consecutive year that the firm has shut shops on 26 December.
Like previous years, the chain has made this decision in order to give its staff the chance for a Christmas break, and as the day off is not taken out of staff holiday allowance workers will still get paid.