Home Bargains to close for two days as a thank you to staff who worked during covid

Retailer Home Bargains has confirmed it will give all of its staff Boxing Day and New Year’s Day off to thank them for working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The discount giant has also confirmed it will be closing its doors at 5pm on Christmas Eve rather than its typical 8pm closing time on weekdays and Saturdays.

The company said it wants to give employees more time to spend with friends and family over the holiday season, reports the Mirror.

It’s not the first time Home Bargains has kept its doors shut on Boxing Day, having also given its workers the extra day in 2019 and 2020.

Home Bargains has more than 500 stores and employs more than 22,000 staff in the UK.

A spokesperson said: “We recognise how incredibly hard all of our colleagues have worked over the last year, to continue to serve the local communities that rely on them so much.

“In light of this, we felt it was only right to reward store teams by taking the decision to close all of our stores on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and also close stores early at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

“As a family-run business we know the importance of being together at Christmas with those we care about most, now more than ever, and this is our way of saying thank you to all of our colleagues for their continued hard work and dedication.”

The company was classed as an “essential retailer” during the pandemic meaning it could keep its doors open throughout.

And the announcement from Home Bargains comes as Morrisons and Marks and Spencer confirmed branches will staff shut this Boxing Day.

Other supermarkets who stayed shut on December 26 last year include Aldi and Asda – but both have yet to reveal their plans for 2020.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco operated under reduced hours on Boxing Day last year.

Boxing Day is normally exceptionally busy for retail staff as Brits flock to the shops in the hopes of nabbing a bargain in the sales.

Last year saw footfall on December 26 drop by more than half due to the on-going coronavirus restrictions and lockdown measures.

High streets in the 43% of England that were under tier 4 restrictions – where non-essential shops had to shut – were empty.

The retail intelligence agency Springboard said Boxing Day footfall was down 57% compared with last year.

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