Should retailers be open on Boxing Day?

A petition has been set-up on Change.org, which has over 200,000 supporters, stating that retailers should be closed on Boxing Day.

There is also an official petition to Parliament, which has over 140,00 supporters. The creator of the Change.org petition, Ian Lapworth, has said that he believes that retail workers should be “given some decent family time to relax and enjoy the festivities like everyone else”.

He also says that he feels companies should “forget making money for one day, but concentrate on making more memories with the ones we love.” With this in mind, should retailers close on Boxing Day?

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Above is a graph of the number of people who have signed the Parliament petition from North East constituencies. In total, over 4300 people from the North East have signed the petition for Parliament.

Now, Parliament have already responded to the petition already, saying that “we do not believe it is for central Government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers. Therefore we are not proposing to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day.”

Grant Crossan, a manager for CEX, a second hand retail store in the Metrocentre,said: “I understand why people would petition for it.

“The fact that the majority of the population feel it necessary to go shopping on Boxing Day is a sad reflection on the populace as a whole.”

When contacted, the North East Chamber of Commerce declined to comment.

According to statistics from PCA Predict, a market leader in data validation, online shopping on Boxing Day in 2015 was down 3%. But, this could be due to the fact that many retailers began their Boxing Day sales on Christmas Day in 2015, with many retailers saying they had huge rises in the amount of activity they had on Christmas Day. One such retailer was Game, who saw a rise of 140% in web traffic on Christmas Day.

On the rise in online shopping, Crossan added: “For every person who shops online, there is a person who prefers to shop in stores. As most big retailers have online purchase facility it should make little difference from a retailer perspective whether they open on Boxing Day or not, as those that prefer shopping in store will simply come down the next day, and those that shop online can do so on Boxing Day if they wish.

“What it would effect would be staff morale to know their employers are putting them first”.

Another opinion comes from Abbie Wayt, 23, a deputy manager with Jack Jones, said: “I think that if we have to work it then all companies should offer double pay for all staff.” This is an interesting idea and it could be argued it would satisfy some people who wish for a two day break over the festive period.

“As awful as it sounds, but when you have a career like a doctor, then you are doing something you love. so it does not sting as much as if you are working in a kitchen or as waiting staff, if it is not your chosen career path.”

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