No, the stores aren't "closing", as in "closing down". Rather, they've given notice that they're going to be giving their staff more time off at Christmas this year.
My ex, who lives in Manchester sent me this link as her neighbour is the manager of a branch of the store 'oop north where she lives.
It seems that this is a genuine move by the store and there is no underlying cause or motive behind it. They're just going to close early on Christmas Eve, and stay closed on Boxing Day and New Year's Day to give their staff more time with their families at Christmas.
Well done Home Bargains. I'm more inclined to give them my custom as a result of reading this.
However (and not wishing to pour cold water on anything, but it does sit up and beg to be asked)........... if they can do it, why can't others...?