The boss of Liverpool-based Wongs Jewellers has announced the store will close for business on Boxing Day, giving his staff extra time with their families.
Peter Wong, managing director, shared a video on Facebook saying he wanted to make a stand about workers deserving time with their families. He said in previous years his decision to keep the store open was due to an expectation that retailers should open almost every day of the year.
In the online video he said: “The hot topic of debate at the moment, and one I have close to my heart, is whether businesses should open or not on Boxing Day. In previous years my decision to open was due to the mounting pressure placed on retailers to open for almost 365 days a year.
“However, as a family man I understand the value of spending time with those you love at this most precious time of the year, therefore I have decided to keep the store closed this Boxing Day, and by doing so make clear on which side of the debate I stand, and allow my fantastic hardworking team the time they deserve with sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents.”
Chelsea Jefferson, Wongs’ deputy manager, told the Liverpool Echo she was moved to tears at the announcement as she could now take her baby to spend Christmas with family in Yorkshire.
She said: “This is the first time where my daughter, who is 17 months old, will be able to open her gifts properly. My family are in Yorkshire, so I wasn’t going to be able to go back as I work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.
“I thought ‘oh dear’ at first when my boss got us together, but he said he was going to make a stance on it – I cried. He didn’t have to.”
The news comes after a petition calling for all retail outlets to close for Boxing Day, gained more than 140,000 signatures. However, the calls were shunned in a debate by MPs who said it was “not necessary” for shops to shut on 26 December.