/ Shopping

Sunday shopping – lose it or improve it?

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

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RealityCheck42 says:
28 May 2012

It’s mainly religous people who want everything to stop on a Sunday as they have been programmed to believe it is a sin to do anything but religous activities on that day!! As you say, Sunday trading laws do not apply in Scotland and I have not noticed any reports of excessive numbers of thunderbolts being cast down upon the Scots. This is another example of religous people trying to force their views on everyone else. No-one is forcing them to shop on a Sunday if they don’t want to so I see no reason why they should force me not to.

Dean says:
27 June 2012

I would agree with you’re comment RealityCheck42, however I feel that there is more to life than shopping, and that the sunday trading hours are fine as they are in england.

Ben says:
1 July 2012

It annoys me that shops aren’t open on Sunday, all because of some stupid rule dating back to the dark ages when people believed in religion and you’re not meant to work on the holy day. OK, that’s fine, but don’t complain when you’re dying on the weekend and need an ambulance to come help you, for them to say “Sorry, we don’t work on Sundays”
We’re living in the 21st century and it seems ludicrous that the whole world should stop. If you want to sit home and ‘rest’ for the whole day then feel free, but most of us have stuff to do and don’t have time to shop during the week.

Ben says:
1 July 2012

Also, before anyone says “But the workers might not want to work on Sundays” remember how many people are unemployed and looking for any kind of job who would snatch your hand off for a days work on the weekend. Teenagers especially.

Dean Kibble says:
17 February 2013

The s****y government are decades behind us, they forget that people like me who work nights have to go out and do our food shopping a some point. i feel so secluded to my bedroom on sundays and do jack s**t most of the night because of a STUPID LAW>. im sure there are people out there that actually want to work and earn money, well i could imagine how many jobs would become available if shops were to be allowed to trade all night on sunday.

Clive says:
20 March 2013

Just bear a thought for the poor staff who are working all hours. Would YOU want to work Sunday day or night for £6 something an hour?

atul says:
20 March 2013

All the staff dont work all the hours. there is a shift rota so you might have to do one shift on the weekend. businesses are there to make money and as a result create employment which the country needs. those who dont want to do so can look for another job. Get real guys. the world has changed.

Derek says:
21 March 2013

I am looking for currently, its been do difficult. If the shops were to offer jobs on a sunday i would take it. Even for £5 an hour ! as long as i had at least a small bit of money to feed my little ones hungry mouths.
The day of rest does not apply in this modern world no more.

Ben says:
21 March 2013

“Poor staff” ? I don’t think you understand how many people would love the opportunity to work on a Sunday to earn some money