Image result for Entertainer toy shops, Gary Grant
Entertainer toy shops, Owner Gary Grant

A Christian businessman is choosing to let his staff head home early this Christmas so that they can spend some quality time with their families, all at a huge cost to his successful business.

Owner of The Entertainer toy shops, Gary Grant, doesn’t open on Sundays anyway, but December 24th could have earned the company some $2.7 million in sales. Still, he is choosing to shut the doors to his 149 stores and let his 1,700 staff head home for the festive period.

“I have given the concept of one day in seven as a day of rest a lot of thought and I am not making an exception just because it is Christmas Eve,” he said, as reported by Daily Mail. Grant believes that family life is “under attack enough” and wants to see his staff spend more quality time with their loved ones.

Grant is open in his Christian faith and lets it impact every area of his business. “The Entertainer wishes each of you a Happy Christmas. Pictured here in the first nativity, we remember the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus Christ,” a sign reads at the front of the store.

“I have the best staff in the high street. If that is the cost of thanking them for a hard season’s work, well that is the cost,” Grant added. The businessman says he seeks to apply Christian values to every aspect of his business approach, and even gives away ten percent of his profits to charity in line with biblical teaching.

A spokesman for The Entertainer said: “Staff in retail work very long hours in the run-up to Christmas. Our members tell us they need time off to recuperate as well as to spend time with their family and friends. That is especially important when they have children.”

Grant also refuses to stock items linked to the occult, including Halloween witches’ costumes and Harry Potter merchandise. He started his business from scratch back in 1981, after failing at school. Now, the company makes almost £9 million a year profit on sales of £150 million.

“The toy industry is so reliant on Christmas: if you didn’t have Christmas you wouldn’t have a toy industry,” he said. “So there is a fine line between running a viable business that gets caught up in the commerciality of the season, but on the other hand not losing the real meaning of Christmas.”

But this devoted Christian businessman is determined to reinstate the true meaning of Christmas, and to honor God in the process:

“People have said, “What, even with Christmas Eve being a Sunday, you’re closed?” And I say, “Well, what’s the difference? The principle is a day of rest.” Staff may well be working six days a week, and long days. They need a break.”

People reacted to the decision on Facebook with overwhelmingly positive comments:

“Love this. I worked in retail and I had to work Easter Sunday even though the store was closed with a different company. People should be more organised and get their toy shopping done before Christmas eve. Yes, the shop is closed but think of the hundreds of staff members who get to spend Christmas eve with their families,” one person wrote.

“This for me is incredibly heartwarming, family before money! Great to see such a good example of Christmas spirit, well done The Entertainer!” another added.

Grant concluded: “I know that if I do what I do with the right motive, I can rely on the fact that God will honor that. Keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the Ten Commandments, so I feel I shouldn’t be opening the doors.”