Gransnet forums


Supermarket opening times (Light Hearted)

(60 Posts)
taurusmmukpp Thu 22-Dec-22 19:56:38

I am sure that when I was young in the early fifties shops would close for a full two days at Christmas, and if Christmas fell on a Saturday then it was possible for shops to be closed for three or four days. I may be wrong but I’m sure that’s what happened, and most people in my area didn’t have fridges and we managed ok. I feel that if shops were closed for more than one day at Christmas then people would be throwing themselves of roofs or marching with pitchforks down the high street. 😁

midgey Thu 22-Dec-22 19:59:31

I remember that! Shops completely shut on Sundays as well. I see a few supermarkets are shutting for two days this year. Can only be a good thing I think.

Smileless2012 Thu 22-Dec-22 20:02:28

There's a small convenience store/supermarket just down the road from us which is always open on Christmas day.

MrsKen33 Thu 22-Dec-22 20:13:36

Many shops near us in Wales close at lunch time. Threw us a bit when we moved here .

lixy Thu 22-Dec-22 20:26:34

Shops used to close for longer over Christmas than they do now, but the milk man still delivered milk every day. We didn't have fridges, and we didn't have use-by dates either - used our noses, eyes and common sense!

Shops also had half-day closing on a Wednesday around here.

I think it would be a good thing if shops closed for a few days so staff could have a proper holiday.

Deedaa Thu 22-Dec-22 20:29:43

Some supermarkets are closing on Boxing Day. Off the top of my head I think that includes Lidl, Aldi, M&S and Waitrose. When I was working in a tea shop back in the 60s we used to close by about 4pm on Christmas Eve because people had given up shopping and were going home to get ready for the big day.

Grammaretto Thu 22-Dec-22 20:30:55

Christmas wasn't celebrated in Scotland until even as recently as the 1950s.

Hogmanay and New Year were and are more important. We still have 2 days bank holiday at New Year.

mokryna Thu 22-Dec-22 20:40:55

I thought that taurusmmukpp even in the 60s . My mother didn’t like a Saturday Christmas, Sunday Boxing Day
the following Monday and Tuesday were Bank Holidays. Then there would be the problem with New Year’s Day and the following Sunday which were also closed.

Oldbat1 Thu 22-Dec-22 20:42:09

Yes both my parents went to work in the 50s and early 60s on Christmas Day. New Year was always a day off.

Grandmadinosaur Thu 22-Dec-22 21:12:49

My first job on leaving school was in the office of a large furniture store. This was in the early 70s. We used to close at lunchtime on a Wednesday. I also remember the first couple of years I was there New Year’s Day didn’t used to be a bank holiday and I had to work. It wasn’t much fun staying up celebrating NYE and getting up to be at work for 9!

Fleurpepper Thu 22-Dec-22 21:30:03

I know you said 'light hearted' - but honestly, I think it is ridiculous and sad too. Why can't shops close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and not re-open until the 27th, and let families enjoy the time together. Some professions have to work, nurses, ambulance, police, fire- but we can cope with shops closed for 2 days and a few hours!

taurusmmukpp Thu 22-Dec-22 21:44:51

Grandmadinosaur I remember working as a bus conductor on New Year’s Day in the early sixties after consuming too much alcohol after midnight. I never repeated that experience, once bitten, twice shy!

taurusmmukpp Thu 22-Dec-22 21:49:18

I completely agree with you Fleurpepper, a strange kind of madness seems to take over obviously whipped up by TV advertising.

Grandmadinosaur Thu 22-Dec-22 21:54:10

Oh dear taurusmmukpp I can imagine that wasn’t much fun!

Theexwife Thu 22-Dec-22 21:55:03

I remember in the early 60s busses would run on Christmas Day.

Auntieflo Thu 22-Dec-22 22:21:06

My parents had a corner shop in the early 60's, selling sweets, ice cream, some frozen veg, cigarettes and newspapers. Customers, without fridges, would ask if they could collect their ice cream, or frozen peas, on Christmas day.
The shop wasn't open, but there was frequent knocking on the door until about 3pm, when mum, dad, and my brother had their own dinner. Often joined by an aunt and uncle.

Hetty58 Thu 22-Dec-22 22:37:03

Oh yes, early closing day - either Wednesday or Thursday around here. We bought extra butter before Christmas (not the usual daily two ounces) and it was put in a jar outside the back door.

I'd be sent to collect the ice cream (wrapped in newspaper) just before the meal. All quite normal back then. Now, it's only Easter Sunday when supermarkets have to close and the convenience or corner shops always seem to be open!

25Avalon Thu 22-Dec-22 22:40:25

I remember Christmas Eve Dad going into the local auction rooms to buy a turkey which mum would then have to prepare ready for the next day.

Callistemon21 Thu 22-Dec-22 23:12:05

I'd be sent to collect the ice cream (wrapped in newspaper)
I'd forgotten about those blocks of icecream in cardboard packets which the grocer would wrap in newspaper. 🙂

Surely people can organise themselves for just two days without the need to go to the food shops.

We once had to take DD to her part-time job at a big shopping centre on Boxing Day as there were no buses.
The roads were gridlocked for miles around and we got her there about 2 hours late. The manager had only just got in herself to open up.

silverlining48 Fri 23-Dec-22 00:13:59

Aldi and assume Lidl too always close Christmas, boxing and New Year’s Day they also pay over £12 an hour to their staff.
I wrote to Sainsbury CEO a couple of years ago about them doing the same, especially given staff had worked through COVID. I didn’t even get an acknowledgement.
We managed years ago with Sunday and half day closing. There was no 12 or 24 hour opening and not many had fridges or freezers either.
In Europe shops still close Sundays and all bank holidays. It’s a pity we always follow the 24/7 American way of life. It’s really not necessary and staff need family time over bank hols. We won’t starve for a couple of days if shops closed.

harrigran Fri 23-Dec-22 07:24:34

When I was working as a nurse in the 60s it was a nightmare trying to fit in Christmas shopping and buying food. If my day off was a Wednesday then I only had until lunchtime to shop.
In 1971 I had a baby seven days before Christmas and DH had to do the shopping because the family were coming to visit, no car in those days, twenty minute bus trip to the nearest shop.

argymargy Fri 23-Dec-22 08:08:53

I grew up in a London suburb. There was a Sainsburys that didn’t open on Mondays (or Sundays obviously). John Lewis on Oxford Street closed at lunchtime on Saturday and opened again on Tuesday - their business model prioritised staff well-being. We also had local early closing on Thursdays. But everyone wasn’t so obsessed with shopping in those days.

JackyB Fri 23-Dec-22 08:57:02

When I first came to Germany shops closed at 6.30 pm. That was freedom for me, having come from the UK where shops shut at 5.30 pm with half day closing on Wednesdays, and shut all day Wednesdays, and of course on Sundays and Band Holidays.

However the rest of the opening times, which are still strictly regulated here in Germany were as follows: open from quite early (bakers at 6 am, other food shops maybe 8 am) except for posh clothes shops which may not open till 10 am.

Saturdays: closing at 2.30, except once a month, and in Advent. If a Bank holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday there is no day off on the Monday, but there are plenty of other days when everything closes (Epiphany, Easter Monday, Corpus Christi, Ascension Day, National holiday (which was on 17 June in those days.) and up to 7 others depending on where you lived.)

Germany still has one of the the shortest and strictest opening hours regulations, but don't go to the Netherlands on Lappendaag. Even the restaurants are shut. This may only apply to Hoorn where we were staying, but other towns may well have similar days.

JackyB Fri 23-Dec-22 08:58:07

Sorry - not sure where "shut all day Wednesdays" came from.

M0nica Fri 23-Dec-22 09:19:17

It isn't hard to make a list and think ahead. I have always done my last pre-Christmas shop 2 or 3 days before Christmas and then not gone near the shops again for anything until after the New Year, not even the Christmas sales. I do not use fresh milk, an intolerance problem, and I can see for all those who do that this will need to be bought, but otherwise, if people didn't go to the shops in the days between Christmas and New Year, they wouldn't open, or for fewer hours.

Shops open because the days immediately after Christmas are top trading days. We do not go on spending sprees between Christmas and New Year because we are forced to because the shops are open.

{Standard exclusion statement: I do understand that this could pose problems for those in poverty}