Marks & Spencer has decided to close its operations on Boxing Day, having previously planned to open over 200 shops.
The company, led by Steve Rowe and chaired by Archie Norman, said the decision about December 26 trading follows this week’s agreement from the UK and devolved Government to temporarily relax restrictions over the Christmas period.
Rowe said: "We have taken the decision to close our operations on Boxing Day, so that our colleagues can enjoy more special time with their loved ones. This is a big decision, but it is absolutely the right one given the incredible effort everyone has made in the most challenging of circumstances.”
Rowe said: “Throughout the pandemic, our colleagues have gone above and beyond to deliver for our customers and as we enter the busy festive season they are doubling down on their efforts once again to help our customers deliver the Christmas magic for their families and friends."
The boss added that 2020 “has been a uniquely challenging year for everyone and this Christmas, the celebrations we have, will be more precious than ever".
On Boxing Day the firm, which earlier this year replaced Waitrose to become Ocado’s main grocery supplier, will now close all of its owned stores in the UK, as well as its customer contact centre and its distribution centre in Castle Donington.
The retailer has around 600 owned stores.
Along with the wider retail sector, M&S continues to ask the government to consider the relaxation of current Sunday trading restrictions in December.