High street supermarket M&S have revealed they will keep 400 of their stores open until midnight this Christmas.
This is a stark increase from last year, where only 15 remained open that late. This decision is being seen by some as an attempt to recoup lost profits after lockdown caused havoc for the retail industry.
According to The Guardian, shoppers typically spend around £50billion on goods other than food in the two months leading up to Christmas. Lockdown in England is not set to lift until 2 December and with Scotland now facing tougher restrictions, these measures have come at a pivotal time.
For those who prefer to purchase their food and gifts in person, these long opening hours immediately before the big day might just come in handy.
When will M&S stores be open late?
The retailer has announced that these new opening hours will come into effect from Monday 21 December for a run of three days. These three days are expected to be the biggest sales days of the year.
Which M&S stores will have these late opening hours?
M&S have said that these new opening hours would apply to all food-only stores except those in travel locations, as well as combined clothing and food shops at retail parks.
M&S have said that shops on high streets and in shopping centres will generally be open until 10pm.
What have M&S said about their new opening hours?
Though lockdown rules in England have meant many rival stores have had to close, M&S’s shops are currently still open and deemed as essential. Now the addition of late nights have been described by Sacha Berendji, M&S’s retail, operations and property director, as amounting to be the retailer’s “longest ever opening hours”.
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He went on to speak of what more M&S have been doing to help promote safe shopping.
"We want our customers to be able to shop with confidence this Christmas,” he said. “Which means supporting social distancing in our stores and minimal queuing outside as the weather gets colder."
M&S is also calling for Sunday trading hours to be extended in order to help them increase capacity to serve customers. In doing so, they hope to be able to ensure everyone can shop and be served safely this festive season.
To check your local store’s opening hours, visit the store finder on the M&S app.
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Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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