A petition to ban shopping on Boxing Day will be debated by MP’s after it reached over 200,000 signatures online. It required 100,000 signatures to be debated in parliament. Boxing Day shopping has become a key part of British Christmas time tradition.
Research from Vouchercodes.co.uk said that UK shoppers spent almost £4 billion pounds on Boxing Day last year. This was a 6% increase from 2014.
Just last week, USDAW a retail workers union, created a survey which found that 93% of retail workers did not want to work on Boxing Day. To impact on matters a large proportion of shop workers are not paid any subsidies for working on the day.
Labour MP for Warrington North, Helen Jones, has given her support to the closure of shops because she believes time should be spent with families. She said: “what I’ve not seen is anything to convince me that Boxing Day generates extra trade, as opposed to just moving it from another day.”
The aim of the petition was to allow workers to enjoy time with their families over the Christmas period. Many retail workers are made to work late on Christmas Eve and then come in early on Boxing Day.
According to the Office of National Statistics in 2014 well over 300,000 people had to work in the retail sector on Boxing Day. This is 12% of the entire retail workforce.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said “most retailers offer flexible shift patterns to ensure time off are distributed fairly among those who don’t wish to work throughout the holiday period.” However, the main concern of many retailers is to cater for customer demand.
Response from retail workers has been resoundingly positive at the proposal of store closures.
@SamDoesPolitics the petition is just for shops to be closed on Boxing Day. The sales are usually on until after new year so no harm
— Ryen (@RyenAbel) December 12, 2016
Another noted that the sales are not just for one day they will still be on into the New Year.
boxing day sales are so pointless & annoying, you’re buying stuff nobody wants. go and spend time with your family
— C (@boats_and_h0es) December 12, 2016
People expressed their disdain for shoppers who are prioritising deals over their families.
This should cancel out those that find themselves working late Christmas eve prepping for Boxing Day sales feeling overworked & undervalued
— Sherryl Blu (@SHERRYLsWorLD) December 12, 2016
One twitter user described Boxing Day as an exploitation of lower paid workers in the interest of sales.
Boxing Day sales have always been one of the busiest days in the year for retailers. However, with the ever-growing popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday they are not as crucial for consumer business.