'Let them spend precious time with their families'; Sheffield people give their view on supermarkets who ask their staff to work on Boxing Day

Lots of things have changed because of coronavirus, and the changes will continue throughout the festive period.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 1:44 pm

Asda, Waitrose and Aldi are shutting their doors on December 26 to allow staff members to spend time with their families over Christmas. But Sainsbury's and Morrisons will open — with reduced hours.

We asked Sheffield Star readers what they thought about these decisions, and this is what they said.

Mavis Waterworth said in times gone by all the shops were closed for Christmas, and they still should be.

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Food at a supermarket. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

She said: “When I was little all shops closed. Our parents did a big shop so you didn't need to go and buy anything on Boxing Day. People still shop as if everywhere is closed a week. Please give retail staff some time with their family.”

Karen Whittles also remembered a different time for retail.

She said: “I've never shopped on Boxing Day, it's family time. When I was younger the shops closed for the duration of Christmas and the New Year, with only the odd corner shop open. We survived, we didn't need to go out at 4am for a sale.”

Sharon Wiles pointed out that not everyone celebrates Christmas.

She said: “There are still going to be some who complain that it is not their religion and that they should not have to go without because of it.”

Lindsey Bassinder said that it was unfair to ask anybody to work on Boxing Day because that would also impact on a person’s Christmas Day.

“I will never understand why shops open on Boxing Day. Let their staff enjoy Christmas Day without having to watch what they drink or look at the time because they need to go to bed so they can get up in the morning. Let them spend precious time with their families. People will still go shopping the following day.”

Sharon Beach, a retail worker, gave the perspective of a person who has had to work during the holidays.

She said: “Everything should close Boxing Day, I work in retail it’s disgusting that all they think about is profit especially after this year when everyone as worked so hard during this virus.”

Sally Dawson also gave her view as a retail worker.

She said: “Yes, as someone who has worked in retail for 10 years, it’s spoils Christmas for those who have to work. It was so much nicer when shops were closed Boxing Day, now Boxing Day is like an ordinary day and it feels like Christmas is over very quickly.”

RIta Owen made the point that most people buy food excessively over Christmas so would have plenty to last them if the shops did all shut.

She said: “All shops should close on Boxing Day, there’s no need for them to be open as everyone has food for about a week at Christmas.”

Joan Lithgow said she would be stopping going to the supermarket long before Boxing Day.

She said: “There comes a time, before Christmas Eve in fact, that I put my shopping bags away and say ‘well, that's that, what we haven't got now we do without’.

"The supermarkets have been selling Christmas stuff since back in October, so if people can't organise themselves for a couple of days extra over Christmas then that's their problem.”