You’ll have to wait an extra day to head to M&S this Christmas (Image: Getty Images)

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Marks & Spencer will keep all of its stores closes on Boxing Day this year.

The chain had previously planned to open 200 stores to shoppers the day after Christmas.

But after the decision to temporarily relax coronavirus restrictions over the Christmas period, M&S decided to let staff have an extra day with their families instead.

Chief executive Steve Rowe said: “Throughout the pandemic, our colleagues have gone above and beyond to deliver for our customers and as we enter the busy festive season they are doubling down on their efforts once again to help our customers deliver the Christmas magic for their families and friends."

Stores will be closed on Boxing Day this year

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As well as stores being closed, M&S is shutting its Customer Contact centre and its Distribution Centre in Castle Donington.

Rowe added: “2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for everyone and this Christmas, the celebrations we have, will be more precious than ever."

But in the run up to Christmas, staff in stores will be working harder than ever to let people bag essentials.

Staff will be working harder than ever in the run-up to Christmas
(Image: AFP)

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Ahead of Christmas, M&S has put in place a number of new initiatives – including its Sparks Book & Shop service allowing customers to reserve a shopping slot at time that suits them,accelerated the rollout of its checkout-free technology to all UK stores.

It's also operating its longest ever trading hours – with around 400 stores open until midnight in the days prior to Christmas – from December 21st to 23rd.

"In the run up to Christmas we are opening longer hours and have accelerated the launch of new digital services such as Sparks Book & Shop to help our customers prepare, but it’s also why we have taken the decision to close our operations on Boxing Day," Rowe said.

"This is a big decision, but it is absolutely the right one given the incredible effort everyone has made in the most challenging of circumstances.”