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Boxing Day – Holiday or shopping day?

That tricky annual festive question is looming over us once more: should Boxing Day should be a national holiday for everyone or is it right that people working in retail should have to work?

#tescofail back to school sign over alcohol

This Boxing Day Asda, Marks & Spencer, Pets at Home, Poundland, Wickes and toy store The Entertainer will be closed. Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons will remain open.

Sainsbury’s will be open but with reduced opening hours on Boxing Day.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Our colleagues do a fantastic job and have worked incredibly hard this year, so we’re doing everything we can to make sure they are able to take some time to rest and enjoy the festive season with their families, including reducing opening hours in supermarkets on Boxing Day.

“We’re recruiting more colleagues into our business than ever before so that we can give as many people as possible the time off they have asked for. This includes 12,000 temporary colleagues to support us this Christmas. For colleagues that have requested it, we have made sure they are able to take at least two consecutive days off over Christmas.

“In recognition of the outstanding service given to customers every day throughout the pandemic by our colleagues, this year we made two thank you payments to frontline workers.”

Tesco will be giving all frontline staff a 10% bonus for working that day and Morrisons will be giving double pay to all staff who work on Boxing Day.

Unions have asked retail outlets to close on Boxing Day as a “thank you” to staff. For example, GMB national officer, Roger Jenkins, said: “It’s a shame this is not extra holiday – workers will have to book a day of their annual leave entitlement.

“But it’s a step in the right direction and GMB now calls on the rest of the retail sector to follow suit and repay these key workers with a chance to spend Boxing Day with their loved ones.”

Supermarkets have seen record sales highs and many staff have been faced with horrendous abuse from the public. However, I believe that staff would rather have a bonus as a “thank you” than having Boxing Day off. After all, many wouldn’t be working Boxing Day anyway, so not working that day would make no difference.

Calling for all retail to close on Boxing Day is ridiculous. Some retailers, such as food outlets, have done well through the pandemic but many other retailers have gone to the wall! These range from small businesses to large, well-established names. To expect these stores to close when they have struggled all year is pretty thoughtless!

Closing these stores for another day could also cause other problems. We are seeing people not wearing masks and not adhering to social distancing guidelines in town centres. Closing stores could push more people to the stores which are open, causing crowding, and again in the stores when they reopen.

The answer is simple: Ask staff if they are willing to work Boxing Day and pay them extra if they do.

And give a bonus to all front line staff to ensure that all are thanked not just those working Boxing Day!

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Latest News Online shopping

Debenhams – elevator going down – what are your consumer rights

 

Debenhams sign

 

 

Debenhams – the department store retailer – faces going into administration for the third time as talks with JD Sports failed yesterday (30 November 2020). After nearly 250 years in business, its doors are set to close for the last time, although it continues to trade while administrators seek to clear stock.

So what are your rights when shopping with Debenhams?

Gift cards

  1. Get them spent! And quickly! Debenhams is currently still trading, so you are able to use them. Once it stops trading it is unlikely that it will accept gift cards. It is also worth remembering that one of the reasons that Debenhams is struggling is the collapse of Arcadia and you may also have a gift card for one of the Arcadia group stores. It, too, is still taking gift cards but both Debenhams and Arcadia could stop taking gift cards at any time.
  2. If you have a gift card or a voucher for any amount over £100 and it was paid for by credit card then you have protection from the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
  3. It is possible that if you paid through your bank on a debit card, you could get your money back through This is a voluntary scheme and you will need to check with your bank.
  4. If a new owner is found for Arcadia or Debehams it will not have to honour the voucher or gift card but it is always worth checking. They may well be of the opinion that if they honour the voucher that you will return and if they don’t you will not go there ever again and tell your friends not to either!
  5. If you have bought your vouchers through a third-party website it is worth contacting them. They do not legally have to refund you the money but they may do so as a goodwill gesture.
  6. If you haven’t spent your gift vouchers in time and the company isn’t honouring vouchers, contact the administration company as soon as possible. You will be added to the creditors list, along with staff wages, the taxman etc., so it is highly unlikely that you will get all your money but you have no chance at all if you don’t register your interest!
  7. Keep hold of your vouchers. Even if the company goes into an administration a buyer may be found later which may honour the vouchers.

Debenhams shop front

Shopping at Debenhams now

  • Your rights remain the same. Currently, Debenhams is trading, so your rights remain the same. If an item has become faulty you are covered by the
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015. Once it stops trading it will be more difficult to get your money back.
  • You have protection from the credit company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Actif you bought the item on a credit card and the item was more than £100.
  • It is possible that if you paid through your bank on a debit card, you could get your money back through This is a voluntary scheme and you will need to check with your bank.
  • The administrators will want to raise as much cash as possible, so will continue to sell goods, where possible. This is where you may find some bargains both in-store and online. If you buy online you should still be able to return items if necessary, within 14 days, under the Cons
    umer Contracts Regulations. 
  • Remember, though, that if any item you buy becomes faulty you may well not be able to return it if no new owner is found for Debenhams! You may be able to try the manufacturer but your contract is still with the retailer.

Help for employees who will lose their jobs

Coronavirus – 4 steps to take if you lose your job