28 December 2018

Last-minute groceries shopping can be a hassle at this time of year. Whether on 31st December or 1st January, customers will have to brave masses of shoppers trying to buy one more bottle of Prosecco for the New Year’s Party (or the cure for the ensuing hangover on New Year’s Day).

To help shoppers, we’ve studied the holidays timings of 6,271 supermarket stores across the UK to find out their opening times on both New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day.

Plan which supermarket chain to visit

Supermarket Opening Times 31 December 2019

Supermarket Opening Times 1Jan 2019


It turns out that most shops will close by 6pm on 31st December, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Co-op your best bet for late-evening shopping. New Year’s Day opening times will be even more restricted, with very few shops opened by 9am, and most closing by 7pm (so, just like Christmas 7 days before, get your shopping done at least by the day before).

While the majority of chains will have most of their stores opened on 1st January, some chains are closing extensively on that day: Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Iceland & Lidl will all have less than a quarter of their stores open on that day ; while all Aldi shops will be closed.

Store Name

Percentage of shops opened on 1st January

Co-op Food










Marks & Spencer










Lidl will close all but 6% of its stores, as only shops within the M25 will remain open on that day. Waitrose will for its part close all of its large stores, the only Waitrose remaining opened on 1st January being the ones located within services stations off major motorways.

Beware of the postcode lottery

There are wide discrepancies in how long UK stores remain open, depending on where you live, creating a postcode lottery in terms of grocery availability.
supermarkets open new years day and new years eve UK cities
Edinburgh and Glasgow stores will see the shortest opening times on 1st January, as Hogmanay celebrations will be on full swing on that day. In fact, most shops will remain closed on 2nd January as well. In the rest of the UK, Manchester has shortest amount of opened grocery stores both on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, while Nottingham and (more predictably) London top the list of cities with the longest opening times over that period.