Shops including Primark, M&S and Aldi extending opening hours explained
30th November 2020

PRIMARK, M&S and Aldi are among the retailers extending their opening hours in the run-up to Christmas.

It comes as the government today confirmed shops can stay open longer in December with a 24 hours option to boost retail after lockdown.

Shops must currently apply under the town and country planning act to extend opening hours beyond 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

But doing so can take weeks, with the government seeking to help a retail industry hammered by the pandemic and online shopping.

Non-essential retailers in England have been forced to shut during a four-week period until December 2.

Once lockdown ends, it'll be replaced with a three-tiered system, although all non-essential shops can then remain open regardless of the tier.

To give shoppers more time to find the perfect Christmas gift once stores reopen, plenty of retailers have already announced extended opening hours.

We explain all you need to know below.

Aldi

Aldi is opening for extended hours in the run-up to Christmas, with most shops open until 11pm on December 21, 22 and 23.

The supermarket will shut at 6pm on December 24 (Christmas Eve) and will remain closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

You can check the opening times of your local Aldi using its store finder tool online.

M&S

Marks & Spencer has said it will keep around 400 shops open until midnight in the lead-up to Christmas on December 21, 22 and 23.

This will include nearly all of its food-only stores, along with some combined clothing and food shops.

The rest of the stores will also be open pretty late, until 10pm.

You can check your local store's opening times with M&S's store finder tool online.

We've asked M&S to confirm what its Christmas Eve opening hours are, and will update this article once we hear back.

Usually its stores close at 6pm on December 24, while they are closed on Christmas Day.

Last week, M&S reversed its decision to open 200 branches on Boxing Day – and they'll now remain closed to give staff a rest.

Primark

Primark will open 11 branches for 24 hours from 7am on December 2 until closing on December 3.

It also plans to extend opening hours in all of its 153 stores in England in the run-up to Christmas.

Its shops will be open until at least 8pm on weekdays until December 23.

While those located in shopping centres will open until 10pm, with others trading as late as midnight.

The extended opening hours are aimed at helping to reduce queues, as the retailer braces for reopening ahead of Christmas.

Full list of Primark stores opening 24 hours

PRIMARK will trade in the following stores from 7am on Wednesday 2 December and trade 24 hours through until normal closing time on Thursday 3 December.

  • Trafford
  • York Monks Cross
  • Leeds White Rose
  • Bluewater
  • Lakeside
  • Birmingham Fort
  • Meadowhall
  • Stratford
  • White City
  • Charlton
  • Gateshead Metrocentre

During December, Primark’s UK stores will trade to a minimum of 8pm on weekdays.

Town High Street stores will trade until 8pm.

Town Shopping centre stores will trade until 8pm.

Retail Parks will trade until 10pm as a minimum, with the following stores trading until midnight:

  • Charlton, York Monks Cross, Banbury, Edinburgh Fort

Major Shopping Centres will trade until 10pm as a minimum, with the following stores trading:

  • Until 11pm: Meadowhall, Bluewater, Lakeside, Metro, White City, Stratford
  • Until Midnight: Leeds White Rose, Braehead, Trafford

Major High St Stores, the majority will trade until 10pm, with the following stores trading:

  • Until 9pm: Belfast Bank, Belfast Fountain house, Bristol, Nottingham
  • Until 11pm: Oxford St East, Oxford St Wes

Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's has also extended its Christmas opening hours in an aim to encourage customers to shop early and safely ahead of the festive season.

The retailer said that 90% of its supermarkets will be open from 6am until midnight from December 21 to December 23.

Most Sainsbury's shops will then open between 6am and 7pm on Christmas Eve.

The supermarket's shops are closed on Christmas Day.

Tesco

Tesco plans to open more than 300 stores for 24 hours between December 14 and Christmas Eve.

The rest of its stores will also operate extended trading hours from 5am until 11pm between those dates.

It’s important to note that Tesco hours differ throughout the year depending on if you shop in a superstore, or a smaller Express branch.

This will be the same case over Christmas, so make sure you check this ahead before making the journey.

Shoppers have a choice of roughly 3,700 Tesco stores – see here for which one is nearest to you.

Waitrose

Waitrose has also revealed details of its extended opening times for Christmas.

Smaller stores will stay open until 11pm on December 21, 22 and 23, while larger stores will shut at 10pm.

The majority of Waitrose stores will close at 6pm on Christmas Eve and will remain shut on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Wilko

Wilko has extended its opening hours for Christmas again this year.

From December 14 it stores will generally be open from 8am until 7pm, though this can vary locally.

You can use Wilko's store finder tool to check your local opening times.

A spokesperson said: "Every year at Christmas we extend our opening hours so customers can easily pick up the things they need and this year will be no different. 

"Broadly, our stores will be open 8am-7pm from Monday December 14 to January 3 2021 excluding bank holidays. 

"There may be some local differences however so customers should check wilko.com to be sure."

Ahead of the second lockdown, retailers such as John Lewis, Ikea, Currys PC World, M&S and The Entertainer also extended their opening hours.

Meanwhile, The Entertainer will close its stores for three days over Christmas to give its staff a break.

It follows similar action from Wickes, Home Bargains, Aldi, M&S and Pets at Home, who will all remain shut on Boxing Day.

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