An online petition against shops opening on Boxing Day has gathered so many signatories it could get debated in the House of Commons.
Kettering baker Ian Lapworth’s petition: “Stop Shops opening on Boxing Day”, has gained nearly 122,000 signatories in barely a month – well over the number needed to be considered for a debate in Parliament.
“Shops, especially supermarkets, do not need to open on Boxing Day,” the petition says.
“Most retail workers are on the go up to Christmas Eve, then back on Boxing Day. Sometimes they have no choice…Forget making money for one day, let’s concentrate on making more memories with the ones we love,” it adds.
Abas Rizvi, owner of Spar in Carrborok, Cheshire, said: “We make money on Boxing Day. It is a small place so you have to be open.”
Farooq Mohammed, owner of Budgens of Stadhampton, said the quantity of trade depended on the day of the week that Boxing Day fell.
“We’ve got the demand. We have about three people working on Boxing Day. Come Christmas we ask if anyone wants to volunteer to work. Most staff can do with the extra money.”
McColl’s, in Oakham, Rutland, opens from 7am to 8pm on Boxing Day – normal opening hours. Natasha McIntyre, deputy manager, said that from a personal point of view, “it would be great to have the day off…we are not mega busy”.
“We are open because of the convenience side of it – otherwise you can’t call yourself a convenience store,” she added.
Taylors of Tickhill, a Nisa store in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, closes on Boxing Day. Julia Taylor, who works in the store, said: “We are a traditional shop. We close for lunch on Monday to Thursday. We don’t open on any bank holidays. People say they are quite happy to shop when we are open.”
Taylor said Sunday and holidays should be for families.
“How many families have Christmas ruined because they have to be at work?”