Primark, M&S, Aldi and Waitrose announce new opening hours for Christmas

Several shops have announced new opening hours for the run-up to Christmas after lockdown ends.

Primark is hoping to open with long hours for shoppers to catch up on Christmas planning they may have missed during lockdown. 

Following the announcement on Monday that non-essential shops will be reopening across England on December 2, several stores decided longer opening hours would allow their customers to shop safer during the festive season.

Primark is currently reviewing opening times on a store by store basis and hopes to extend the hours to cater for the much-anticipated demand.

It aims to reduce customer queues by spreading potential shopping hours over a longer time period.

A spokesman said: “We are looking forward to re-opening our stores in England and welcoming customers back from 2 December to do their shopping before Christmas.

“Nothing matters more to us than the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers, and we will continue to have extensive safety measures in place in our stores when we re-open, such as a strict social distancing protocol and limits on the number of customers allowed in store.”

It is hoped if Suffolk is classed as Tier 1, the Westgate Street store in Ipswich will be allowed to extend opening hours.

M&S is another chain with extended opening hours and the Martlesham Heath Simply Food store is one of 403 operating with extended hours between December 21 and 23, staying open until midnight.

Its Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmonds stores will be open until 10 pm across those days.

A spokesman said: “This Christmas we’re doing everything we can to help our customers shop with confidence in our stores and online.

“As part of this, we’re pleased to be offering our longest ever store opening hours for the final shopping days before Christmas – helping ensure colleagues and customers have the time and space they need to social distance.”

There are a number of Waitrose & Partners stores around Suffolk, including Ipswich, Woodbridge, Bury and Newmarket.

The majority of those shops will be open for extended hours in the days leading up to Christmas with most Waitrose supermarkets staying open until 11 pm – some convenience shops until 12 am.

Aldi, which operates stores in both Ipswich and Bury, is also offering extended hours, staying open from 7 am to 11 pm on Saturday, December 19, and between Monday 21 and Wednesday 23.

For more retail news, click below to follow our Linkedin page.