WICKES has announced it will be closing its stores across the country for Christmas.

This is the first time in 48 years all of DIY giant's 235 outlets will close, including the Swindon branch in Gypsy Lane.

The move is part of a thank you to staff that have been working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

As an essential retailer Wickes says its staff have helping customers and local tradespeople, keep homes dry, warm and safe during the Covid-19 crisis.

The holiday closure, which begins as shops lock their doors on December 23, is the first in the business’ 48-year history and will give more than 8,000 colleagues additional leave.

Here’s what you told us on Facebook...

Janette Dunne: “All retail should close over the Christmas period anyway, regardless of what’s happened this year.

“It should be a permanent thing.”

Rachael Wells: “Well done Wickes. I hope lots of other stores follow.”

Stuart Ashton: “Brilliant. As someone who works in retail, all Christmas is to me is rush to see your family and back to work.

“I hope they all follow this.”

Debbie Fulton: “Well done. All the shops should do the same to thank their workers for keeping going through the pandemic.”

Susan Ellison: “Good. Let the staff have a Christmas.”

Stuart Courts: “What a lovely way to say thank you.”

Andrew Little: “At last some common sense from a DIY store, to recognise the hardworking staff.

“Maybe the big supermarkets will be closed on Boxing Day this year. But they’re too greedy for that.”

Sapphire Steel: “If they cared about staff they would do it every year.”

Jenny Warriner: “Pity all shops don’t follow them.”

Trudie Jones: “That’s great and shops don’t need to be open over Christmas.

“Hope they all follow.”

Karen Tayler: “It’s about time the shops shut for the two days of Christmas.

“Everyone deserves a break.

“A lot of staff were made to work. It wasn’t a choice. Now they can enjoy Christmas.”

Andy Reeves: “Well done Wickes.”

Carla Butler: “Wish all shops would for a few days.”

Linda Noakes: “Everywhere should close for Boxing Day. This year has been shocking.

“Allowing all retail staff two days off is the decent thing to do

“Well done Wickes. Hope more businesses value their staff, and do the same.”

Kate Hunt: “I’m sure a lot more shops could close and not reopen until after Boxing Day.

“I’m sure people will survive one more day without having to go out to the shops.”

Karen Lesley Rabey: “When I was young many years ago shops shut lunchtime Christmas Eve and didn’t open until the day after Boxing Day unless it was a weekend then you had the extra days.”

Erica Roberts: “That’s great. I wish other companies followed suit.

“All the staff worked throughout both lockdowns and all deserve a well earned break.”

Chris Deverell Turnbull: “All the supermarkets could do the same.

“People managed years ago when the shops shut and didn’t have fridges or freezers then.”

Rich Musgrove: “What about those on zero-hours contract who get no paid leave?

“Or those who welcome the extra hours because they are struggling?

“Or those on their own, who find Christmas a really sad and lonely time?

“What about those who don’t celebrate Christmas?

“A blanket closure isn’t the answer.”