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M&S confirms intention to open at midnight on Christmas Eve

Marks & Spencer has announced a midnight opening on Christmas Eve, spurred on by the government's inflexibility over Sunday trading laws throughout the festive period, retail-week.com reports.

There might be some late night cash collections from some of the country's biggest retailers, which is throwing open its doors open early in an attempt to give customers more time to do their Christmas shopping.

Marks & Spencer - along with the likes of Selfridges, ASDA and Morrisons - had hoped that chancellor George Osborne would allow an extension of trading hours for December 23rd, as he had during the Olympics. The request having been rejected, M&S is now to open around 100 stores at midnight on December 24th instead.

Like many other large grocers, M&S will hope to counter the Sunday trading restrictions by keeping at least 160 stores open until 10pm from December 20th - 22nd and early on Christmas Eve instead.

According to M&S, December 23rd is usually the busiest shopping day of the year; in 2011, it sold 279,000 turkeys and 1.6 million mince pies on that day alone.

Speaking to dailymail.co.uk, M&S' director of retail, Sacha Berendji, said that the chain appreciates that this day is traditionally one of the most hectic for customers, but that it was obliged to close after the legal six hours' trading.

"We hope that these early bird hours on Monday will ease the pressure and give busy shoppers a bit more time to pick up Christmas food orders or last minute presents," Mr Berenji concluded.

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