Marks and Spencer have announced that it will make a major change to its Christmas service this year.
The store has made the decision to allow staff to have Boxing Day off this year to thank them for their hard work.
The move will affect thousands of staff, the Mirror reports.
M&S boss Steve Rowe has written to 70,000 workers saying the move to shut on December 26 was to thank them for their work and efforts over recent months.
It will apply to all M&S-owned stores in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, its Donington Distribution Centre near Derby, and all of its support centres.
It comes after Morrisons also announced it would shut its hundreds of stores on Boxing Day.
The supermarket made the announcement to its 111,000 workers earlier this month.
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Last year, several rivals agreed to give staff the day off to spend time with families and loved ones after being deemed key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Asda, Pets At Home, Aldi, Lidl and The Entertainer all shut on December 26 last year, despite having opened in previous years.
M&S’ Mr Rowe said: “Up and down the country, our colleagues have been there for our customers in the most challenging of circumstances.
“As a small thank you for their incredible hard work, we’ve taken the decision to close our operations on Boxing Day once again this year, to enable our colleagues to spend more time with their family and loved ones.”
M&S decided to close its operations on Boxing Day last year, having previously planned to open over 200 stores on December 26.
That announcement came despite the government’s plan to temporarily relax restrictions over the Christmas period.
In a separate move, M&S has said it will have extended opening hours at more stores before Christmas this year.
The majority of branches will open from 6am to midnight from Monday December 20 to Thursday December 23.
A “selected number” of stores will be open until 8pm on Christmas Eve.
Last month, retail workers’ union Usdaw urged shops to give their staff a break over the Christmas season.
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