Wongs Jewellers in Liverpool has announced that it will keep its doors closed on Boxing Day so that its staff can spend the day with their families.
The independent retailer shared a video on its Facebook page where managing director Peter Wong declared he wished to make a stand about workers deserving time with their families. Staff were said to be ‘moved to tears’.
Wong said the move is in response to “mounting pressure” for retailers to remain open on the key trading date, which saw £1.4bn spent last year.
It follows more than 200,000 people signing a petition for retail outlets to remain closed on Boxing Day to spare workers and grant them time with their families.
In the video, Wong said: “The hot topic of debate at the moment, and one I have close to my heart, is whether businesses should open or not on Boxing Day. In previous years my decision to open was due to the mounting pressure placed on retailers to open for almost 365 days a year.”
He continued: “However, as a family man I understand the value of spending time with those you love at this most precious time of the year. Therefore I have decided to keep the store closed this Boxing Day, and by doing so make clear on which side of the debate I stand, and allow my fantastic hardworking team the time they deserve with sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents. So cheers everybody, and have a very Happy Christmas.”
The Liverpool Echo reported that deputy manager, Chelsea Jefferson, was ‘moved to tears’ at the announcement as she could now take her baby to spend Christmas with family in Yorkshire.
She told the paper: “This is the first time where my daughter, who is 17 months old, will be able to open her gifts properly. My family are in Yorkshire, so I wasn’t going to be able to go back as I working Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. I thought ‘Oh dear’ at first when my boss got us together, but he said he was going to make a stance on it – I cried. He didn’t have to.”
Wongs Jewellers was founded in 1979 by Peter Wong’s father, Brian Wong, and has 16 members of staff.
Image: Founder Brian Wong poses with team selfie for Facebook page.