Sainsbury's has announced two days of closures over the Christmas period as a thank you to its staff for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The supermarket has said that all of its stores will be shut on Christmas day and Boxing Day.
A 'thank you' to staff
Sainsbury's supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol filling stations will close on 25 and 26 December as a “thank you” to its 170,000 members of staff.
The chain also confirmed that all of its Argos and Habitat stores will also remain shut on Boxing Day.
The announcement comes after rivals including Morrisons, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer said they will also keep stores shut on 26 December in thanks to staff after a challenging 18 months.
Announcements on Christmas closures are still yet to be made by Aldi and Asda, both of whom closed over Boxing Day last year.
This decision was said to be made after senior leaders listened closely to trade unions and colleagues.
The chief executive of Sainsbury’s, Simon Roberts said:"Christmas is a really special time for so many, but because of lockdown restrictions last year, lots of us weren’t able to celebrate in the way we wanted.
“In recognition of this and to say a massive thank you to all our colleagues for everything they have done during the last challenging year, we will be closing all of our supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol filling stations, as well as Argos and Habitat stores, this Boxing Day.
“I want to thank our customers in advance for their understanding, which will mean as many of our team as possible can have a well-deserved break to spend time with loved ones.”
Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the Usdaw trade union, added: “After discussions with Sainsbury’s we very much welcome the company closing all their stores on Boxing Day this year, to give their staff a proper break over Christmas.
“The pandemic showed just how important shopworkers are to our society and communities, as they stepped up and kept essential services running throughout."