Should the shops open on Boxing Day?

When an official HM Government petition gets more than 100k signatures, it is considered for debate in the House of Commons. And that’s what happened for a petition regarding shop opening times on Boxing Day. It’s called: Close all retail on boxing day, retail isn’t needed on boxing day!

As the petition says: “Christmas is a family time, the one day is not enough time to see two sides of families, retail workers work extremely hard during the Christmas run up and only get the one day. If only everywhere could be closed boxing day! Some things are needed over the festive period, retail isn’t one of them.”

On Christmas day itself, under the Christmas Day Trading Act, shops larger than 280 sq m are prohibited from opening. But Boxing Day has no such regulations and trading is only limited should it fall on a Sunday.

It’s easy to be sympathetic to staff who may well be coerced to work a shift on Boxing Day but equally it’s a big retail day for shops. But really, would the High Street crumble if they couldn’t open until the 27th? It is somewhat bewildering that people should be keen to get back to shopping so soon after the pre-christmas frenzy.

There will be no vote after the debate and no change in the law any time soon (indeed the government has said it doesn’t want to interfere).

Of course, it would be no bad thing for ecommerce traders. If people are desperate to get shopping they can always head online. What do you reckon? Would you support a trading hiatus on Boxing Day?