For the Christmas period, the tiered restrictions have new rules which state that shops will be able to trade 24/7 over Christmas. This is in hopes of helping businesses to recover some of the losses they have made during the pandemic.
Before retailers can extend their opening times though, they must apply for special permission. The local authorities can then temporarily waive the restrictions for retail opening hours.
Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, said that he wanted to suspend the current restriction rules to provide support for business owners after already experiencing months of restrictions. The Minister said that shops should be able to decide their opening hours through December and January with the option of running 24/7 services. In theory, these changes could mean that shops can open longer to ensure a safer shopping experience and less pressure on public transport.
Chief Executive Helen Dickinson encouraged shoppers not to leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute in order to avoid peak times. It’s important to still maintain social distancing even with the temporary lift of restrictions.
One of the first stores to confirm that it will be taking advantage of the new rules was Primark. The retailer opened its stores for 24 hours from 2nd December when they were allowed permission to continue trading again. Paul Marchant, the Chief Executive at Primark said that he was delighted to reopen their stores.
Large supermarkets are also taking advantage of these new rules and will be opening their doors for 24 hours in the run up to Christmas. Tesco, the supermarket giant will keep more than 300 of its stores operating 24/7 from December 14th to Christmas Eve.
In addition, Sainsbury’s have also extended their opening hours to help cater for the unexpected rush of shoppers. Sainsbury’s will be opening 90% of its stores from 6AM to midnight from December 21st to December 23rd.
Marks & Spencer on the other hand, has decided to redact their decision on opening 200 stores on Boxing Day. They will instead be closed on 25th December and 26th December to give their staff more time off.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
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