Should Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury shut up shop on Boxing Day? National petition calls for stores to ‘respect’ Christmas holidays

Ipswich town centre

Ipswich town centre - Credit: Simon Parker

It is traditionally a time when people, fresh from hearty turkey dinners the day before, will dash out to their nearest town centre to pick up some bargains.

But not everyone is a fan of the Boxing Day sales – and some people want to stop retail units opening on the day altogether.

A petition has been launched online asking anyone who supports that idea to sign it in a hope to make businesses change their habits.

Launched by Ian Lapworth on, it now has more than 202,000 signatories.

A number of places in Ipswich are expected to open on Boxing Day, including the Sailmakers (8am-6pm) and Buttermarket (9am-5.30pm) shopping centres.

However at least one store in the town will be shut: Marks and Spencer is listed as being closed on Boxing Day.

In Bury St Edmunds the Arc shopping centre lists Christmas Day as the only time it is closed over the festive period.

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In the description of the petition Mr Lapworth says: “Shops, especially supermarkets, do not need to open on Boxing Day.

“Whilst not everyone may see Christmas as a religious holiday, it should be respected as such, and retail workers (who work so hard on the run up to the big day) given some decent family time to relax and enjoy the festivities like everyone else.”

He also makes the point may retail workers will finish late on Christmas Eve then be back at work on Boxing Day with just a solitary day off in between, making it difficult to see some family members.

“Forget making money for one day, let’s concentrate on making more memories with the ones we love,” he adds.

Many of our readers agree with Mr Lapworth’s sentiments.

Commenting on our Facebook pages Debbie Burgess said she was one of the people who had signed the petition.

“I feel so sorry for the poor workers who don’t even get a decent Christmas Day as they have to go to bed and be up at a ludicrous time for Boxing Day.

“The sales can wait till the 27th December surely?”

Clare Thurman added: “As someone who works in retail, I’d love for the shops to be closed on Boxing day but it’s never going to happen, the demand is too great for the retailers to miss out,” while Kay Willoughby wrote: “Yes shut shops, family time is more important and valued.”

Not everyone was of the same opinion though, with Paul Benjamin saying to do so could be “a nail in the coffin of a town centre just beginning to improve”.

Dan Drakey wrote: “What about doctors, fire, police workers, will they get a day off too,” and Brian Ebbrell commented: “If people want to go shopping then they should be able to,” but added he preferred not to.

What do you think? Would you support shops in towns like Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury staying closed on Boxing Day?

Answer our poll or let us know with a comment below.

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