Pets at Home has become the latest retailer to agree to close all stores on Boxing Day this year.

Bosses said sites will shut on December 26 as a thank you to staff for their hard work during the year, which saw stores remain open throughout the pandemic due to its “essential” retailer status.

Pets at Home will be closed on Boxing Day this year (Tim Goode/PA)

The company pointed out that stores were also closed on Boxing Day last year.

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This year’s holiday falls on a Sunday, with stores in England only allowed to trade for six hours.

Other retailers to make similar announcements include Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Poundland and Home Bargains.

Pets at Home’s chief executive, Peter Pritchard, said: “Our people are the beating heart of our business and they have worked tirelessly once again this year to ensure that the nation’s pets and their owners have access to everything they need to stay happy and healthy.

“Caring for our colleagues is something we take very seriously and closing our stores again on Boxing Day is another small way to show our appreciation and say thank you.

“It’s a little early to be wishing anyone a merry Christmas, but we hope that our colleagues will be able to use this time to relax with family and friends, and of course, their pets.”