M&S to close stores on Boxing Day after government relaxes rules at Christmas

The CEO of M&S wants to give his staff time off to spend with family

Marks and Spencer
(Image credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Boxing day is normally heaving with shoppers hoping to get a good discount in shops like M&S - but this year will be very different.

Now Marks and Spencer's have revealed they'll be closing all their stores on Boxing day - despite previously declaring they would keep all 200 stores open around the festive period.

This week the government said they would be relaxing coronavirus rules - meaning that for a five-day period, around Christmas, up to three families can see each other indoors. 

M&S wants to use the rule relaxation to allow their staff time with family over the Christmas period.

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M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said about the decision: “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.

“2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for everyone and this Christmas, the celebrations we have, will be more precious than ever.

He went on to say that on the run-up to Christmas all their stores will have longer opening hours and "it’s why 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.

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“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," the CEO finished with.

The time off will also extend to its customer contact centre and its distribution centre in Castle Donington. What a lovely early Christmas present! 

Despite closing their stores no doubt you'll still be able to shop all those boxing day sales online still. We also revealed last week that one of M&S's Christmas sandwiches was getting a lot of attention on Instagram - their egg and cress sandwich, which had a while poached egg inside was very popular.

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.