‘If folk didn’t go to the shops they wouldn’t open’ – Evening News readers’ views on Boxing Day shoppers

Aldi, Home Bargains, John Lewis and Lidl stayed shut on Boxing Day but many other stores were open as usual. So what do readers make of hitting the high street on December 26? Here’s a selection of your views.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 5:00 pm
The Boxing Day sales still draw in crowds of shoppers. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Fear drives retailers, the dread that if they don’t open they will miss a sale. Only shops with real confidence in their brand are brave enough to buck this trend and hats off to them.

Simon Urquhart

Those stores will be avoiding paying double time for their staff. More people will be tempted by online shopping.

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Aldi was one of the shops that stayed shut on Boxing Day

Harry Queensferry

I worked in retail for 20 years, in different shops, and never got double pay for these days. The last shop I worked in would pull the takings figures every hour on Boxing Day to see how the profits matched up to the previous year – yes, it’s all about the profit. Don’t know what shocked me the most – the greed or the fact that folk still had money to spend after the run-up to Christmas. Staff have to put up with a hell of a lot at this time, so give them some kudos and kind words.

Davie Lindsay

It’s the greed that fuels the openings. If folk didn’t go they wouldn’t open. I worked in Next for ten years and it’s disgusting the abuse and disrespect that the staff put up with.

Sandra Davitt

In Ireland you get double time on every bank holiday by law, some companies even pay triple time for Christmas etc. Our rights have slowly disappeared over here.

Mark McDougall

Do hospitality staff a favour and don’t flock to restaurants if shops are closed. We want a Christmas too.

Siobhan McCrory

Just stay home and chill out – it’s just two days. No shops should have to open the 26th. Let the staff rest.

Emma Brodie

When you work in retail you don’t get to enjoy Christmas because its a mad rush leading up to it – so your exhausted – and then your back in on Boxing Day. There’s no time to actually enjoy any of it.

Janet Burnett

How did they survive years ago when the shops were shut for two days over Christmas and the two days over New Year? They should bring this back, just the greed of the fat cat bosses, and yet they manage to get the time off. We are just a number to them.

Tracy Grieve

Is it really necessary to go shopping for a new three-piece suite in Boxing Day. Another sale will start the day after the last one ended anyway. Time to give the shop workers time off. For many working on Boxing Day means having to drive to work, which means they can’t even have a decent alcoholic Christmas Day drink.

Ken Johnston

I’m glad to see some retailers giving their staff a break. More should follow such a great example. Greed fuels this but it is the employees who suffer. Sales used to start in January.

Pamela Blain

Well done tp the shops leading by example. I’ll be shopping with you next year. Take note other employers –all your hard-working staff deserve a PJ day on Boxing Day too.

Ann Jones

If people can’t go two days without shopping they’ve got a problem. It’s because of these people desperate to save a few quid on stuff they don’t really need that retail staff are forced to work instead of spending time with their families. Even change the rules on a Sunday – in Belfast shopping centres and supermarkets aren’t allowed to open till 1pm. And what about 24-hour shopping? Do we really need a bag of tatties or a bath mat at 3am?

David Masson

Working in retail, customers don’t realise the demand put on staff at Christmas: the hours are long, pay is bad, you are on your feet all day and some customers can be very rude to you especially when you are running out of stock to sell (why leave everything to Christmas Eve? You have had months to shop and you know when Christmas day is). We hardly get time to breathe never mind shop and spend time with family. All shops should be closed two days to give us a break. Yes some work on Christmas day like people in care, the police, travel etc but they are needed. You don’t really need a sofa/cards/trainers that desperate at 9am on Boxing Day surely.

Lisa Smith

Many of the things bought in Boxing Day sales on a whim or indeed as Christmas gifts are so often returned for refund within days. Check out the massive returns queues. This year we went all old fashioned and I bought my husband a new scarf which he needed, two packets of gelatine-free sweeties, and a second-hand Roger Whittaker CD for whistling along to. He was very happy. I got nothing AND I was happy with this. I get a card and have kept every one from my husband in a drawer for last 20 years – that is good enough for me. He says I get Christmas all year round living with him.

Valerie Thornton Hunter

Shops should be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. It’s not a lot to ask that retail staff be allowed to enjoy Christmas and not cut their celebrations short to get up early for work. You can bet the head offices are all closed and enjoying family time.

Natalie McKenzie