15 December 2018

It’s time to make the most of the boxing day sales (that’s if you’ve still got any money left over from Christmas). Shops across the UK will have been preparing for the boxing day sales, so get ahead of the queue and make the most of the sales this year. Remember, it’s still a bank holiday for most so expect varied opening times (check our local online store guide).

In our latest study, we reviewed 6,387 businesses across the UK to find out their opening times on Boxing Day. Not only does this help our website visitors, it also let us determine which cities are best to go shopping and dining out during this often-busy period.

We discovered that the cities in the North of England and Scotland are prepared for an exceptionally busy time, as 6 out of the top 10 cities with the highest proportion of shops opened on Boxing Day are located in this region.

Results show that 70% of businesses in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, 69% in Sheffield will be open on Boxing Day. Similarly, a large percentage of businesses will open in areas such as Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee, with each of them having 70% - 76% of businesses opened for trade. As there are no trading hours restrictions in Scotland, many shops will most likely opt to stay open and take advantage of the high demand for goods and services.

Conversely, businesses in Wales, West Midlands and the South West won’t be very busy. Results show that fewer than half of businesses in Plymouth, Poole and Swindon will be open on that day. Quietest of all will be Swansea and Newport with as little as 36% of businesses in town open on Boxing Day.

To get a better insight, we created an interactive map showing the different percentages of businesses that will be open, in various cities, around the UK on Boxing Day.

While long opening hours are very convenient for consumers, employees might not see things the same way. Working late nights or early mornings during the holiday season isn’t an attractive prospect for anybody. There is no automatic right for workers to have public holidays off, unless it’s in their contract. Similarly, extra pay for working public holidays is optional, unless it is stated in the contract.

Our analysis of the percentage of shops opened for some of the major UK chains shows that whether a store is open on Boxing Day heavily relies on the type of business that it is, but with wide variety from store to store. For example, while a larger proportion of grocery stores normally open on Boxing Day, with the likes of ASDA and Sainsburys opening all their stores across the UK, other chains like Waitrose and Lidl have decided to remain largely closed on 26 December.

Boxing Day Opening Times 2018

The world of retail is changing, and businesses are constantly having to find ways to find balance between changing trends and employees relations.