I have concluded after this long weekend that what the UK needs is grocery stores that are open 24 hours a day, every day, no matter if its a national holiday or some other kind of holiday or event. Most people still eat on holidays, and its very inconvenient when everything is closed. I also don't understand why on regular days grocery stores keep traditional bankers hours. Its very annoying to have to fit grocery shopping into the hours of 9-5.
I was not able to even get a simple little container of milk from Friday to today. I had to wait until the grocery store opened, thus delaying my day to a very late start, and its soooooooooooooooooooo annoying. This is on top of having hiked several blocks a few days ago to a very major chain of a grocery store and even it was closed???!!! It just makes no sense whatsoever. Why not have a store that is open 24/7--at least the major chains? I don't get it.
I think it depends where you live. I know there are some branches of the major supermarket chains in London that are open 24/7, plus odd independent shops, but it still doesn't seem great provision, considering the number of people that live here. I might be wrong as I don't drive, but maybe petrol stations sell a tiny selection of food-related stuff? That's a wild guess btw!
Christmas is the worst for everything closing, you'd think some shops would do ok catering for people who've forgotten bits and pieces before the national shutdown gets underway. The one time I did it, I noticed a surprisingly large number of people wandering around central London on Xmas day afternoon, probably tourists, but I did wonder whether there were enough people who hate Christmas/want the money to work over that period.
The holidays are in place to ensure that shop workers (often the lowest paid) do have some holiday entitlement. Retail is a thankless task (as someone who worked for 6 years in a shop to fund their undergrad/masters)! It's not too difficult to plan your shopping in advance.... Even "up north" we have 24h supermarkets who all signpost their holiday hours. However, this isn't just a UK phenomenom. I've worked in the US, and trying to get ANYTHING in New York on Thanksgiving (after the parade) is impossible. And you can't buy wine in a supermarket.... or mixers like tonic or coke in a bottle shop. Now that's weird!
The big supermarkets that are open 24/7 still have to close early on a Sunday due to trading laws I think - so most supermarkets are open 11-4 or something. They probably do Sunday hours on a bank holiday Monday.
I worked in a supermarket for a few months a long long time ago, and I think on a bank holiday they paid us triple time? I remember earning something like £15 an hour at the age of 16...(up)
Is that helpful enough for a star? ;-)
Our tesco stays open 24 hrs every day except Christmas day - including Sundays and bank holidays so I guess we don't have the same trading laws over here. I think that - besides being very convenient - that it's a little bit sad... Sundays used to be sacred over here, everywhere would shut down for the day - now all of a sudden it is the biggest 'shopping day' of the week, all the shops are mobbed with people. It makes me wonder where people are getting the money from and also makes me feel sorry for the workers who never get to lie-in on a Sunday! What really makes me laugh though is the queues at Christmas time... the shops are only closing for ONE DAY people!!! Yet people buy enough food to feed an army for a month...
Most major supermarkets are open 8 - 8 Monday to Saturday and 10 - 4 on a sundy. By law they are only allowed to trade for 6 hours on a sunday and by law must be closed all day Easter Sunday, Chrismas Day and New Years Day. As Cytochrome says the reason for this is so the low-paid staff are guaranteed some time off to see their family/enjoy the holidays.
By my roughcalculations that’s around 80 hours a week and 362 days a year mostsupermarkets are open. It’s really not that hard to find a time during this todo your shopping. This is enough time we really don't need 24/7 supermarkets!
Would you liketo contractually obliged to work 10 am til 7 pm on Christmas Day? Staff deservesome time off during holiday periods.
According to Wikipedia, the Conservatives in 1986 saw it as a threat to family life and church attendance, whilst Labour MPs were worried about workers' rights.
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There is always somewhere open on Bank Holidays now - I make good use of Tesco's online store locator to find a smaller Tesco (ie. less than 3000 sq ft) that's open 24/7. It's very helpful at 3am when one can't sleep and the prospect of chocolate becomes very appealing. The only is problem is that most are located on the outskirts of towns, so a car is often necessary.
If I recall correctly, we can thank B&Q and European law for our current limited Sunday opening hours. Remember the days when Sunday was about sport, visiting the old relatives, or sitting in front of the TV watching a dodgy BBC Dicken's adaptation....ahh.
Personally, I think we have quite enough time to do shopping and the hours are far more liberal than the vast majority of other European countries who have a very strict no-no policy for Sunday shopping.
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