Retail union USDAW is urging its members to report any retailer who intends to open its shops on Christmas Day.

The union has set up a special Santa Watch control centre to name and shame companies as part of its campaign to persuade the government to ban large shops (3,000 sq ft or above) opening on December 25.

General secretary Bill Connor said that the Government agreed with USDAW that shops should stay shut on Christmas Day. He added that a survey showed 92% of retailers would not open on December 25. But that 19 companies said this would also depend on their competitors’ actions.

Connor concluded: “There will be no let up in our determination to protect our members and the shopping public from Christmas Day trading.

“If people can’t relax with their families on December 25 when can they? This is the 21st century not the 19th century of Dickens and Ebenezer Scrooge!”