Earlier this month, I got the usual ‘festive’ email from Businesswaste.co.uk calling for a ban on Christmas dinner.
The company’s argument is that our eyes are bigger than our bellies and, as a result, we end up throwing lots of food away. It says we should plan our celebratory meal more carefully so we don’t end up throwing any of it away.
Sound advice but instead of FOMO (fear of missing out), UK consumers suffer a bit from FORO (fear of running out) when it comes to Christmas and tend to stock up… and up and up.
For those of you open on Christmas Eve and even Christmas Day, I am sure you and your staff will see a steady stream of customers nipping in for things they have forgotten – cranberry jelly, bread sauce, custard – the list is never ending.
There is no doubt that Christmas this year will be very different to last year’s - particularly if you are in Tier 4. While the rest of the Tiers get free rein on Christmas Day, for those of us in Tier 4, it’s more “bah humbug” than “happy holidays”. Yet no doubt people will make the most of the situation
Another difference this year is that Christmas is spread across four days as Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, giving us a Bank Holiday on the Monday. Also, because of the unique challenges of 2020, Asda and Aldi have decided to give their staff Boxing Day (December 26) off.
When I was shopping in my local Sainsbury’s, I asked a member of staff if they would be closing too and they said: “No, Sainsbury’s see it as a way of making more money.”
I asked the same member of staff whether they were usually busy on Boxing Day and they said there are always queues of people waiting when the shop opens, all intent on getting their hands on half-price gifts sets – such as Lynx!
If your site is near an Asda or an Aldi, you’ll probably get some extra trade on Boxing Day, so make sure you advertise the fact that you’ll be open. Likewise, if you are open on Christmas Day, when all the other shops are closed.
Lots of people say it’s a shame that staff ‘have to work’ during the holidays but I know that some volunteer to do so – for the enhanced pay rates or to escape the family for a few hours.
Whichever Tier you’re in and wherever you are, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happier, healthier New Year.