MARKS & Spencer has reversed plans to open its stores on Boxing Day – and has decided to give staff the day off instead.

The retailer was originally set to open more than 200 stores on December 26 following a relaxation of shopping rules over the Christmas period.

But bosses have reversed the decision, saying they want workers to enjoy the day with friends and family.

Chief executive Steve Rowe said: “Throughout the pandemic, our colleagues have gone above and beyond to deliver for our customers and as we enter the busy festive season they are doubling down on their efforts once again to help our customers deliver the Christmas magic for their families and friends.

“This is a big decision, but it is absolutely the right one given the incredible effort everyone has made in the most challenging of circumstances.”