Christmas supermarket opening times: When are Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Lidl open and closed

Ross McGuinness
·5-min read
Christmas tree decorations in shopping mall
Christmas tree decorations in shopping mall

Christmas is going to be very different this year, with millions forced to radically alter plans at the last minute after parts of the country were plunged into tougher restrictions.

Under Tier 4, supermarkets have been allowed to remain open along with other essential retailers.

For those in Tiers 2 and 3, households may not mix with others in supermarkets. In Tier 1, shoppers can mix with up to six people.

The government advice is to stay at home and only leave for a specific purpose or if you have a “reasonable excuse”. This includes shopping for essentials such as food and medicine.

Here are the opening hours for the Christmas period for the UK’s nine major supermarkets.

Christmas Day

None of the major supermarkets will be open on 25 December. Some Waitrose stores attached to petrol stations and motorway services may be open, but that’s it.

Sainsbury’s

All of Sainsbury’s supermarkets will be closed on Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day, most of Sainsbury’s supermarkets will be open from 10am to 5pm, but it said shoppers should check its store locator for local opening hours.

A view of a logo of Sainsbury's outside its branch in north London. On Wednesday 8 Jan 2020, J Sainsbury will publish its trading statement up to the end of the third quarter. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Sainsbury's is closing its supermarkets on Christmas Day. (PA)

It has announced that the “vast majority” of its supermarkets will be open from 6am until midnight from 21 to 23 December.

On Christmas Eve, most Sainsbury’s stores will be open from 6am to 7pm.

Read more: People praise Sainsbury's Christmas advert after social media abuse

Lidl

Lidl has announced its supermarkets will be closed on Christmas Day.

Its stores will be open on Boxing Day, but opening times vary across the UK including whether you live inside or outside of the M25.

Customers should check Lidl’s online store locator for more information about their local shop.

Its stores will open from 7am to 11pm between 21 and 23 December (7am to 10pm in Scotland and Wales).

On Christmas Eve, its stores will be open from 7am to 7pm inside the M25 and from 7am to 6pm outside the M25 and in Scotland.

Waitrose

Most Waitrose stores will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, apart from some Welcome Break motorway service stations and Shell forecourts, some of which will be open 24 hours.

Waitrose stores will also be closed on Boxing Day.

Opening hours will be extended in the days leading up to Christmas Eve, when the majority of Waitrose stores will be open until 11pm, and in the case of some convenience stores, up to midnight.

The majority of stores will be open from 7am to 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Customers should check the branch finder page on the Waitrose website for more information.

Co-op

All of Co-op’s stores will be closed on Christmas Day.

Co-op Food convenience stores will be open between 9am and 8pm on Boxing Day.

The same stores will open from 6am to 9pm on Christmas Eve.

A woman cycles past a Co-op supermarket in London, Britain, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Co-op Food stores will close on Christmas Day. (Reuters)

Co-op said there may be local variations, including at Co-op petrol filling station sites, so customers should check the supermarket’s online store finder.

)
)

Tesco

More than 300 of its stores will be open 24 hours from 14 December to Christmas Eve with many other stores extending hours to be open from 05.00.

On Christmas Eve, Tesco Extras, Superstores and Metro stores close at 7pm. Express stores close at 10pm. Petrol stations shut an hour after the main store closes with London petrol stations closing at 10pm.

All stores and petrol filling stations are closed on Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day, England, Scotland and Wales Extras, Superstores and Metro stores are broadly open from 9am to 6pm with some variances. In Northern Ireland, Extras and Superstores open from 10am to 6pm.

Express stores will be open from 8am to 10pm and petrol stations from 8am to 7pm.

Tesco said opening hours may vary from store to store and advised customers to visit its online store locator to check their shop’s times.

Asda

All of Asda’s 631 stores will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The company announced that staff who were originally contracted to work on 26 December will still be paid.

Asda said it will also give all eligible hourly-paid workers a 100% bonus for 2020, which will be paid in February 2021.

Customers should check the Asda store locator on its website for information.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer stores will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

M&S said it had originally planned to open more than 200 of its stores on 26 December, but decided to close after the UK relaxed its coronavirus restrictions across the Christmas period, allowing up to three families to form festive bubbles.

General view of a Marks and Spencer store in Swindon, Wiltshire as Marks & Spencer tonight revealed a bigger-than-expected slump in clothing sales over Christmas.
Marks & Spencer stores will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. (PA)

The company said it had taken the decision “so that as many colleagues as possible can spend time with family and friends across both the 25 and 26 December”.

On Christmas Eve, most stores will close at 6pm or 7pm, a spokesman said, but customers should check the M&S store finder for more details.

About 400 of its stores will be open until midnight between 21 and 23 December, compared to just 15 in 2019.

Morrisons

Morrisons has announced that its supermarkets will be closed on Christmas Day.

Stores will be open until midnight from 18 to 23 December before closing at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Read more: Black Friday eclipsed as shop reopening sparks Christmas rush

Stores will be open from 9am-6pm on Boxing Day.

Customers are asked to check its online store locator page for the latest on their local branch.

Aldi

Aldi’s stores will be closed on Christmas Day - and on Boxing Day.

Its supermarkets will be open from 7am to 11pm between 21 and 23 December.

A logo sign outside of a Aldi retail grocery store location in Hagerstown, Maryland on May 29, 2020. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA)
Aldi will close its stores on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. (PA)

On Christmas Eve, stores will open from 7am to 6pm.

Its opening hours apply to most of its stores in the UK, but Aldi said this may vary across Wales and Scotland.

Customers should use Aldi’s store finder to check their local supermarket’s opening hours.

Information correct as per December 21

Watch: High street prices plummet ahead of Christmas