Aldi, Primark, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose extend Christmas hours

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Some of the UK’s biggest retailers are changing their opening hours just in time for Christmas. It may be an unusual run until the holiday season this year, with much of Scotland living under strict lockdown guidelines until December 11, which have closed all but non-essential stores.

With 11 local authority regions currently subject to level four restrictions, businesses are expected to return to normal across the country for the final weeks of December.

And companies such as M&S, Aldi, Waitrose and Primark are announcing seasonal changes to celebrate, the Mirror reports.



The little shops in Waitrose will be open later

Marks and Spencer has announced that it will keep around 400 of its dining rooms open until midnight before Christmas, giving customers time to shop when it’s convenient and less quiet.

The new hours of operation will apply to nearly all Food Hall branches, as well as some of its larger food and clothing stores.

The move by retailers aims to ensure Christmas shoppers can get their goods before the big day – and to prevent stores from being so crowded that social distancing is not possible.

M&S opens stores until midnight, with Aldi making sure supermarkets stay open until 11 p.m. from December 21 to 23.

Waitrose said small stores will remain open until 11 p.m. on December 21, 22 and 23, while large branches will close at 10 p.m.

Primark, meanwhile, intends to operate longer when non-essential retailing is permitted across the country again.

A Primark spokesperson said: “Associated British Foods Plc is asking for extended hours of operation for Primark stores once they reopen in December. ”

M&S confirmed today that its longer hours of operation will apply on December 21, 22 and 23 and will apply to 400 of its stores.

Agencies that only stay open at midnight will be open until 10 p.m.

Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail, Operations and Real Estate at M&S, said: “We want our customers to be able to shop with confidence this Christmas, which means supporting social distancing in our stores and line up outside as the weather cools.

“To help you, we will be opening our longest hours of operation just before Christmas.

“Along with the industry in general, we continue to ask that Sunday trading hours be extended to help us increase our ability to serve everyone safely this festive season. ”

Nicola Sturgeon has warned that the stubbornly high cases of Covid-19 will keep almost all of Scotland’s 32 councils in their current covid alert level today.



Aldi stores will be open later in the days leading up to Christmas

Midlothian hoped to upgrade from level 3 to level 2, which would have allowed a little more freedom for pubs and restaurants.

But a week after sending the indication, the Scottish government said public health advisers were concerned.

This means that only East Lothian is upgrading to Level 2 as of 6am today. Glasgow and 10 neighboring councils will remain at the highest level 4, while the others will also remain in their ranks.

The Prime Minister said that “the overwhelming majority of local authority areas will remain at current levels”.

Sturgeon added: “Last week we reported that East Lothian and Midlothian – if there was no deterioration in their positions – would, starting tomorrow, go from level 3 to level 2.

“I can confirm this will continue for East Lothian.

“However, the National Incident Management Team expressed concern this morning over an increase in cases and positivity testing over the past few days in Midlothian. “

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