Are you prepared for an 11 day bank holiday?

No primary category set

There are four bank holidays about to fall over two weekends in the UK. This will lead to a three day working week sandwiched between two four day working weeks, and to be honest couldn’t come at a worse time for many online sellers.

Not only is the Easter break traditionally when buyers desert their computers in favour of some sunny days out or working on their garden, but it comes after a VAT rise and as sellers face an increase in Royal Mail postage prices. The Bank Holidays Dates are: 22nd April – Good Friday; 25th April – Easter Monday; 29th April – Royal Wedding and 2nd May – Early May Bank Holiday.

If you employ staff you need to check your employment contracts before you decide how to handle the bank holidays. If your contract specifies the minimum 28 days holiday (four weeks plus 8 bank holidays) then you may not have to pay them for the extra day off for the Royal Wedding. If your employment contracts are more loosely worded to 20 days plus bank holidays then it’s likely you’ll have to pay employees for the extra Bank Holiday on the 29th April.

Regardless of the legal entitlement it’s likely many companies will pay their staff for the Royal Wedding Bank Holiday for the sake of good will, but what’s likely to be a bigger concern is staff booking three days annual leave for the 26th – 28th April or simply calling in sick and not showing up for work for 11 days.

David Brackin of Stuff U Sell told us: “We are very happy for the Royal Couple and hope they have a wonderful day. I don’t think any of the team are invited to the event itself, but we have given everyone at Stuff U Sell an extra day’s holiday and we hope they will enjoy the time off. However, we are concerned about the potential business impact with so many Bank Holidays so close together.Depending on the weather, sales might be unusually high or completely fall off, and with Royal Mail and couriers working just a few days, we might see a repeat of the pre-Christmas network clogging caused by snow.
Right now, I don’t know whether the three days in the middle will be a mad rush to ship things or completely dead – and I really hate uncertainty and change in business: it attacks the confidence you need to invest in growth”.

The cost to the UK economy for a bank holiday is around £6billion, although with the Royal Wedding that’s likely to be somewhat mitigated by tourism and extra business for pubs and restaurants. However that provides little cheer for online retailers who aren’t likely to see much uplift in business.

The next couple of weeks are likely to be as troublesome as Christmas for seller standards. DSRs and maintaining Top Rated Seller status will be at the front of sellers minds, as will be returning to work each Tuesday facing five days worth of sales needing to be packed and despatched.

It’s very likely that your courier won’t be collecting or delivering over the extended weekends, but you should also ensure that any stock orders are placed in advance and that you have sufficient packaging supplies to see you though the bank holiday periods.

To weather the Bank Holiday period you’ll need to step up communications with buyers. Those buyers ordering on a Thursday will doubtless enjoy the long weekend, but by Tuesday they’ll be wondering why their parcel hasn’t been delivered and forget that businesses have been closed. You may want to consider (at a cost!) upgrading slow delivery services to faster or expedited services. A 3-5 day delivery service posted between the two bank holiday weekends could result in a 12-14 day delivery experience for customers who miss the last post on the 21st April.

Communications will be key, especially with overseas customers who may not even be aware that the UK is closed for business over the extended weekends.

Whilst I wish the Royal Couple a lovely sunny day for their wedding, I can’t help hoping the weather is terrible over Easter and drives people inside to be bored and spending their money online.

Bad weather over both Bank Holiday weekends is probably the best thing that could happen for many online retailers.

52 Responses

  1. We’re shutting up shop from 20th April & not re-opening till May 10th.

    Time for a nice break away with guaranteed sunshine & no wedding hype.

  2. I will be shutting up shop too – not for quite as long as Toby, but still it seems like a very good time to take a break 🙂

    I’ve reached the point of either going over the VAT threshold or taking some time off throughout the year to stay under it. I’ve decided to go for the latter option, rather than work 2 – 3 months of the year purely to pay the VAT bill…

  3. My sales on eBay are completely flat and have been for the last 6 months. I’ve noticed that eBay shops are beginning to close down with sellers selling else where or doing something else instead.

  4. I feel like breaking out into a chorus of “always look on the bright side of life”.

    What a remarkably dreary and pessimistic topic!

  5. Is there an alternative to sunny days out or working on the garden? Yes there is. At the Great Western Society Museum in Didcot, Berkshire there will be a historic meeting. The “Flagship Class” of the Great Western Railway was the “King” Class. 30 were built and only 3 survive. Over the Easter Bank Holiday 2 of the 3 survivors will be in steam together for the first time since 1962. 6024 “King Edward 1” has been restored for many years(in fact it has been owned by the 6024 Preservation Society Ltd longer than it was owned by the Great Western Railway and then after Nationalisation British Railways combined. 6023 “King Edward II” has just completed its £700,000 restoration from scapyard condition recently. So for anybody who has a respect for our National Railway Heritage the Easter Bank Holiday should be written large in their Calendar to go to Didcot and look at and enjoy this Historic Event. As far as Sales are concerned over the Bank Holiday surely a lot depends on the weather. If it is sunny and hot then we could have a problem. But traditionally the Weather Gods have looked at the Calendar and seen Bank Holidays and ordered cold, wet and miserable weather. If this was to happen again then we could find that our Sales could be bumper over this period as our customers stay at home. Certainly in my case I am expecting to go to Didcot but as soon as I get home I shall be logged on and hopefully busy selling and packing even if I cannot post out for a few days.

  6. For some of us in the garden industry online this is one of our 3 xmas’s we get, tho easter is very busy pre it, and easter sunday is mad, as no where is open.

  7. 3 day week or 7 day week
    buyers whinge anyhow so whats new

    and sod the royal wedding who cares

    bring back Cromwell then we really could celebrate

  8. I think we should ditch Parliament and go back to be run by the monarchy, long live the queen!

  9. No wonder the UK is in the poo, too many days off!

    We are the same here in NZ, we have quite a few holidays around this time with Waitangi day, Easter and Anzac day.

  10. Bank holidays can be included as part of your annual leave anyway, so I doubt that argument would get them very far.


3 Bank holiday weekends in 1 month

3 Bank holiday weekends in 1 month


Bank Holiday announced for the Queen’s state funeral


2022 Double June Bank Holiday for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee


Take a break over the Summer Bank Holiday


Are you ready for Easter shopping and a heat wave?

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars