Convenience stores all over the country are opening their doors on Christmas day, with some retailers doing so for the first time.
C-Store has spoken to a number of retailers and the general consensus is to open, whether it’s for the good of the community or due to high expected sales. With the multiples closed, convenience stores will be the only places to go.
Leon Graves of Overpool service station, Merseyside, said: “It’s one of my busiest days of the year. No hesitation in opening.”
For the first time in 50 years of trading, Pewsey Spar is opening one of their four stores. Business development manager Susan Connolly said: “A member of staff wanted to work and we know the demand is probably there so we are going to give it a go and see what happens.”
Chris Ward of Spar Milford Haven, Wales, is also opening his doors for the first time with the help of local volunteers. “I’m hoping for a busy day, although we couldn’t have done it without the volunteers.”
Ramesh Shingadia, of Londis Southwater, West Sussex, said: “We really do believe we have a great opportunity locally, so we will be open from 9am-6pm on Christmas Day with just a skeleton staff, family only, and we expect to be busy. We obviously won’t have deliveries to deal with; the focus will be entirely on service and creating a good atmosphere in the shop.
However, other retailers are adamant they will not open. Calum Duncan from Kincraig stores has not known his shop to open for four days over the Christmas period since 1986. He said: “Our customers are solid Christians and want us to keep it that way.”
Ashley Newman of Trinity stores in Dorchester said: “Life’s too short, no one gets old and wishes they spent more time at work and less time with friends and family.”
For those opening for the first time, Adam Hogwood, manager of Budgens Broadstairs, Kent, opens his doors 24 hours a day every year, including Christmas. He believes the best sellers are: “Batteries, kitchen roll, toilet roll, foil, fresh baked bread and anything with even the most remote whiff of alcohol would be my suggestions!”