Boxing Day is one of the busiest days in the UK shopping calendar.
But as the years have gone on, especially in light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and all of the extra, unprecedented challenges it has brought to the retail industry and the people who work in it, many retailers have started to see the value in giving staff the day off to rest, recover, and most importantly, spend that extra bit of time with their loved ones.
Every year, more and more businesses appear to be making the decision to keep shops shut on the annual post-Christmas Bank Holiday.
In 2021, a handful of shops and supermarkets have already announced they’ll be closing doors.
Here’s everything we know so far.
Most supermarket chains across the UK have published their adjusted operating hours over the festive period, with many choosing to keep doors closed on Boxing Day.
Here’s the list of supermarkets closing:
Tesco has plans to keep over 370 of its large stores open for 24 hours a day during the festive period in the run-up to the big day, and although Asda stores across Greater Manchester will be closing on Christmas Day, they will be opening on Boxing Day from 10am – 4pm.
You can find more information about supermarket opening hours in Greater Manchester here.
Home Bargains has announced that it will be closing all of its stores across the UK on Boxing Day to give staff time to “recover”.
“We recognise how incredibly hard all of our colleagues have worked over the last year, to continue to serve the local communities that rely on them so much,” a spokesperson for Home Bargains explained of the decision to close.
“In light of this, we felt it was only right to reward store teams by taking the decision to close all of our stores on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
“And also close stores early at 5pm on Christmas Eve.”
All Argos stores will also be closed this Boxing Day.
The stores will remain closed “in recognition of the extraordinary efforts of colleagues throughout a challenging 18 months, since the start of the pandemic.”
Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s – which owns Argos – 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 this Boxing Day.”
Here’s just some of the other national names closing on Boxing Day:
Pets at Home
Holland and Barrett
Featured Image – Aldi UK & Ireland | Wilko
People are literally travelling across the country to work out at this absolutely massive gym
The UK’s largest 24/7 gym is here in the north west of England – and it’s so remarkable, people are genuinely travelling across the country to visit it.
Although it’s been open for a few years already, the massive fitness facility keeps going viral on TikTok.
Fitness influencers and weightlifting enthusiasts alike have been flocking to the north west to visit its two sites – one in Liverpool and one on The Wirral – where there are rows upon rows of squat racks, machines and free weights.
In one video, fitness influencer couple Gregor and Hattie described it as ‘heaven’, adding: “This place is unreal.”
In another, two eager gym-goers took a train to go and train, vlogging their entire day.
They said they used all the leg machines ‘they could figure out how to use’ from the overwhelming variety of equipment.
TikTok user @braddlifts, who posts powerlifting content, said: “Have a quick look around, have a look at all the mad sh*t that’s in here.
“I swear to god, it’s mad. Like just look at this dumbbell rack, it goes all the way along the wall!
“I won’t even lie, I’m so happy to give this gym like a 10 out of 10. This is the exact type of gym that I’ve always wanted to train at.”
As well as its insane selection of weights and machines, Dedicated Supergym has plenty of cardio equipment too, including assault bikes, stair masters, treadmills, rowers, ski ergs and cross trainers.
Featured image: Facebook, Dedicated Supergym
Greater Manchester to get 2,000 small wind turbines that provide more ‘affordable energy’
An ambitious new project will see thousands of small wind turbines installed across Greater Manchester to provide “more affordable energy”.
Set to be delivered by a partnership of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Energy Innovation Agency, and the Manchester Inward Investment Agency, and alongside renewable energy manufacturers Alpha 311, Greater Manchester could soon become home to 2,000 wind turbine units as part of the region’s carbon reduction plan.
The wind turbines are powered by the air moved by passing vehicles, and will be put on buildings and lampposts, according to BBC News.
Alpha 311 said the turbines’ size could even see small sites become wind farms.
The manufacturer said the units were smaller and lighter than the type of wind turbines we are used to seeing on hills and in the countryside across the UK, or off-shore turbines, and it means they can be used on roads, bridges, buildings, and towers.
Most-notably, turbines expected to be the same or similar to the ones on their way to Greater Manchester have been installed next to the O2 Arena in London.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said he was looking forward to seeing the “innovative wind turbines” in action as they could “see us generate more low carbon energy locally”, and crucially, “provide more affordable energy” at a time when people in the region “need it most”.
“The switch to net-zero carbon can, and should, be something that offers a fairer future, as well as a greener one,” Mr Burnham explained.
Mr Burnham said the partnership would also support the creation of 200 new jobs.
The cost of the project has not yet been revealed, but it’s thought they could begin being installed across the region should an initial pilot using the street turbines that’s set to start in Telford later in the year be successful.
The turbines in the pilot trial will be used to power streets lights, and any surplus energy will be sent back to the National Grid.