London retailers want strict Sunday opening hours to be relaxed during the Olympics. Should more retailers open for longer on a Sunday, or should it return to being a sacred no-shopping day?
Current trading laws state that shops bigger than 280 square metres aren’t allowed to be open for more than six hours on a Sunday.
At the moment shops will have to abide by these rules during the Olympic Games, despite the expected influx of tourists. Retailers want this to be relaxed, otherwise West End shops alone will miss out on an estimated £90 million during the six-week Olympics.
So, it seems flexible Sunday trading hours could not only give us a better chance to shop, it would also give retailers a boost.
Sacred shopping or strictly saintly?
With that in mind, why not relax Sunday trading hours all year round?
I live near a 24-hour Asda but, despite its claim, this supermarket closes at 10pm on a Saturday and even earlier on a Sunday.
I’d hate to be ungrateful but, to be honest, I’m not really interested in 24-hour shopping during the week – I’m rarely in need of a late-night snack or tipple from Monday to Thursday.
However, I would appreciate this service on the weekend when late night socialising is more probable. If I was having a Saturday party, it’d be nice to restock my drink and snacks cupboard after midnight…
Increase Sunday opening hours?
So, why not let retailers choose their own trading hours? Obviously this would have to be dependent on customer demand. This is actually already the case in Scotland, where Sunday is considered the same as any other day (though many Scottish shops still choose not to open on this day). Why can’t the same rule be pushed out to the rest of the UK.
I must admit, there is something nice about walking down my home village’s high street on a Sunday, with all the shop fronts facing me with a ‘Closed’ sign. Sure, I can’t pop out for a pint of milk or a packet of digestives, but I can enjoy the silence of Sunday.
What about you – is it time for shops to open longer on a Sunday, or should we forget about Sunday shopping and return to it being a day of rest?
Should strict Sunday trading hours be scrapped?
Yes - shops should be able to open for as long they like (51%, 206 Votes)
Neither - they aren't strict enough, Sunday should be a no-shopping day (25%, 102 Votes)
No - shops should be required to stick to the current trading hours (24%, 99 Votes)
Total Voters: 407