YES, you did read that correctly. Shopping on Boxing Day could potentially become officially banned in the UK.

An online petition that called for shops to be closed the day after Christmas has gained just under 140,000 signatures and is to be discussed by MPs.

If a petition gets 100,000 signatures, the government are obliged to respond and therefore meetings are to be held to discuss the ban on trading on Boxing Day.

Although there are currently no controls on trading hours during Boxing Day, unless is falls on a Sunday, campaigners are eager to make the opening of shops a legal matter.

But is this as good an idea as it sounds?

Boxing Day has always been an essential time for the trading industry as shoppers take to the high street sales with Christmas money burning a hole in their pockets.

It has been predicted that around 22 million people will be attracted to the sales and more than £3bn would be spent during Boxing Day trading hours.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 365,000 people in the UK retail industry worked on Boxing Day in 2014.


“Being made to work on Boxing Day means I can only spend Christmas Day with my family,” said a Manchester based retail assistant.

“I’m not sure about it being banned because some people don’t celebrate Christmas or wouldn’t mind working on Boxing Day.

“But personally, I’d like to be able to spend more than a single day with my family seeing as they live far away.”

Boxing Day 2015 saw over 500 shoppers queue outside Selfridges at the intu Trafford Centre in Manchester from 3am in the morning. The sales bring a vast amount of the trade to the city with the number of purchases increasing every year.

However, campaigners and creators of the petition argue that Christmas is a time that should be spent with families and that workers should be able to relax during the festive season.

Chloe, another 20-year-old sales assistant, said that working on Boxing Day doesn’t have as much as an impact on her life.

She said: “I’d rather be at home on Boxing Day, but I do still get three days off over New Year so at the moment it doesn’t matter too much that I have to come in and work straight after Christmas.”

“Boxing Day shopping is both good and bad because we get a lot of sales shoppers, but the rest of the store is really quiet. So you’ve got to find the right balance.”

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