Should all shops be closed on Boxing Day – take our poll and have your say

Should all shops be closed on Boxing Day – take our poll and have your say

November 16, 2023

For many of us the Boxing Day sales are as much a part of Christmas as turkey with all the trimmings – but is the annual shopping event really necessary?

The tradition began in the mid 1990s when the John Major government made far-reaching changes to the Sunday trading laws. This shake-up of when it is morally ‘right’ to shop opened up the possibility of trading on festival days. And shops didn't wait to be invited.

Since then, plenty of retailers are now open on Boxing Day. But some – such as Aldi – make a point of pulling down the shutters on December 26 so staff can spend more time with their families. And the wholesome trend seems to be catching, with outlets such as Home Bargains and Poundland each announcing they too will close for Boxing Day this year. Big-name stores such as Iceland and John Lewis also opted to close in 2022.

If you can't see the poll, click here. Whether to stay open for Boxing Day or not is a surprisingly hot topic among shoppers. But before we begin the debate, let's take a look at the actual trading laws. According to, small shops in Great Britain can open any day or hour, but large shops (those over 280 square metres) in England and Wales can:

  • open on Sundays but only for six consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm
  • must close on Easter Sunday
  • must close on Christmas Day

There are no trading hours restrictions in Scotland. Nothing in the rules is mentioned about shops closing the day after Christmas. This lack of legislation led to a petition – demanding all retail to shut on Boxing Day – attracting 148,327 signatures; enough to get it raised in Parliament back in 2016. The government responded with: "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".

But what do YOU think? Should all shops be closed on Boxing Day? Take our poll above and expand on your vote in the comments below.

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