Retailers’ peak trading plans are nicely below approach. Nevertheless, many have already determined they’ll keep closed for Boxing Day this 12 months.
Yesterday (4 October), nursery and childrenswear retailer Mamas & Papas mentioned it could shut 22 shops on Boxing Day for the primary time this 12 months to present workers further time-off with their households over the festive interval.
Mark Saunders, CEO at Mamas & Papas, mentioned: “It’s been a difficult 12 months for all these working within the retail sector. Our colleagues have labored tirelessly all through supporting our prospects at what’s a life-changing second for them. As a number one household pleasant employer, we’ve taken the choice to increase our Christmas closure for his or her profit, giving them extra time to relaxation and reconnect with their family members.”
In the meantime, for the second 12 months working, value retailer Poundland, which houses Pep&Co shop-in-shops, will close on Boxing Day and News Year’s Day as a “thank you” to its 18,000 staff.
When he introduced the information at its Christmas convention earlier this month, Barry Williams, Poundland’s managing director, mentioned: “Originally of the pandemic in April 2020, we had been the primary retailer to decide to giving all our colleagues a well-earned relaxation at Christmas 2020 by preserving shops closed on Boxing Day and New Yr’s Day.
“They deserve the identical in 2021 and at our Christmas convention at this time in Manchester, we’ve shared that excellent news.
“By closing on Boxing Day and New Yr’s Day, we recognise that service and supply employees the possibility to spend additional time with their households.”
In a letter to its 78,000 final month, Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe confirmed that every one shops, its Citadel Donington distribution centre and its assist centres will probably be not open on Boxing Day.
Rowe mentioned: “That is to say thanks to colleagues for his or her laborious work and efforts throughout current months.”
Impartial retailers have additionally instructed Drapers that they’re opting to shut on 26 December to present themselves and their workers a break after what they hope will probably be a busy December.
“Beginning our post-Christmas Sale on Boxing Day isn’t going to make an enormous distinction to gross sales or footfall,” defined John White, co-owner of Badger, a males’s and ladies’s retailer in Brighton.
“Our retailer relies close to lots of different independents, and we’re all normally closed on 26 December. As we’re working rather a lot in December, it is going to be good to present myself and my employees just a few days off over Christmas.”
Jane Parkinson, proprietor and director of AW Waddington, a menswear tailor in Nottinghamshire (pictured), concurred: “I’m a traditionalist and now we have by no means opened on Sundays or Boxing Day, and this 12 months will probably be no completely different. Myself and my employees will probably be working as much as and together with Christmas Eve, so we’ll deserve just a few days off. Additionally, our common prospects wouldn’t anticipate us to open on the twenty sixth. They might be shocked if we had been to alter that.”
Equally, the proprietor of a womenswear retailer in London mentioned the closures of multiples throughout the Christmas season has not inspired her to open her store on Boxing Day: “One of many causes I opened my very own enterprise was to spend extra time with my household. As larger retailers are closed on Boxing Day, it could have given us a chance to draw their customers to our retailer. Nevertheless, it’s not sufficient to influence me to spend time away from my household over the Christmas break.”
Nevertheless, others have determined to capitalise on the widespread Boxing Day closures.
The proprietor of a menswear retailer in Glasgow mentioned his retailer will open on 26 December: “Boxing Day is normally among the finest gross sales days of the 12 months and we hope this would be the case this 12 months, particularly as we had been closed final 12 months.”
In settlement, Azeem Ansari, co-founder at Burrows & Hare, a menswear retailer in Oxford, mentioned: “We’re planning to remain open this 12 months. Provided that larger names are closed over Christmas, that will probably be a profit for us. Folks will nonetheless need to be out and about, and will probably be seeking to spend their Christmas cash. Provided that different shops will probably be closed, it can imply they’re extra prone to go to ours.”
Nevertheless, Ansari defined that Boxing Day Gross sales have modified lately: “Ten years in the past, there can be extra footfall on Boxing Day, however the numbers have began to dwindle. Historically, Gross sales are beginning earlier this 12 months in order that has had an impression on gross sales.”
As extra retailers massive and small choose to shut on Boxing Day, it’s clear post-Christmas Gross sales will not be the footfall drivers they as soon as had been. Though retailers are hoping for a a lot merrier Christmas than final 12 months’s, it has not prompted them to open for the whole lot of the festive season.