Asda to shut stores on Boxing Day but Sainsbury's and Morrisons will open with ‘reduced hours’

A number of supermarket giants have announced they will not open their stores on Boxing Day.

Friday, 11th December 2020, 10:20 am

Waitrose and Aldi are shutting their doors on December 26 to allow staff members to spend time with their families over Christmas.

Morrisons and Sainsbury’s will be opening for reduced hours on Boxing Day but bosses say staff will get a meaningful break over the festive period.

Chief executive Roger Burnley said all of Asda’s 631 stores will close for two days.

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Shoppers are seen inside a supermarket wearing face masks while shopping (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

In a message to employees, he said: “This has been a challenging year and you have all done an incredible job, continuing to serve our customers and communities while juggling so many other commitments.

“But it’s also been challenging from a personal perspective as we have not been able to spend time with our families and friends, which has been hard for us all.

“As you know, the strict guidelines set out by the government will change between 23rd and 27th December and more households will be able to gather together.

“This is of course our busiest time of year but it was important for us to give as many of you as possible the opportunity to spend this time with those loved ones that you may not have not seen for many months so, uniquely for this year, we will not reopen our stores until December 27.”

Asda said staff who were contracted to work on Boxing Day will be paid, adding that all eligible hourly-paid workers will receive a guaranteed 100% bonus for their “unstinting hard work and commitment” during 2020, which will be paid in February 2021.

Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the shopworkers’ union Usdaw, said: “When the country faced a crisis unlike any in our lifetime, shopworkers stepped up and kept essential services running.

“They continued to work and faced increased levels of violence and abuse, as well as being worried about catching Covid-19.

“So we welcome Asda doing the right thing by their staff with the closure of stores on Boxing Day.

“Key workers have done so much this year and we are asking retailers to give their staff the longest possible break over the festive season. We don’t think that is too much to ask for.”

Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer, said: “GMB has been requesting Asda to allow their keyworker heroes family time over the Christmas period, so we are really pleased they have agreed to our calls.

“It’s a shame this is not extra holiday – workers will have to book a day of their annual leave entitlement.

“But it’s a step in the right direction and GMB now calls on the rest of the retail sector to follow suit and repay these key workers with a chance to spend Boxing Day with their loved ones.”