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December is the busiest time of year for retailers, and Boxing Day is an important shopping day.

In 2014, 365,000 people in the UK retail industry worked on Boxing Day – this was 12% of those in employment in retail.

Retail industry workers made up about 20% of those working on Boxing Day.

In response to a petition from March 2016, calling for retailers to be forced to close on Boxing Day, the government response stated “We do not believe it is for central Government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers. Therefore we are not proposing to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day.”

The British Retail Consortium have stated “Boxing Day is a popular time to take advantage of the post-Christmas sales and retailers will respond accordingly to cater for this customer demand.”


Debate packs are produced by the Commons Library quickly after the announcement of parliamentary business. They are intended to provide a summary or overview of the issue being debated and identify relevant briefings and useful documents, including press and parliamentary materials. More detailed briefings can be prepared for Members on request to the Library.

Documents to download

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