/ 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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I don’t mind either way – I never shop on Sunday – in fact I don’t shop on Saturday either

Adrian says:
10 September 2011

In my opinion these restrictive laws are out dated and un diverse, it should be left to individual choice if you shop on Sundays or any other religious day irrespective of religion and the choice of the shop or supermarket if they open or not.

Louise says:
10 September 2011

In general, regardless of the day of the week, shop opening hours do not cater for the way the majority of us live and work. Most shops are shut by 6pm weekdays, meaning those of us working traditional office hours only get the weekend to browse and buy, or have to take a day of especially. Longer hours on a Sunday may help but I think the retail industry needs to look at trading hours overall. The Olypmic benefit will only be localised and won’t help the country as a whole, we need to consider what’s best for all towns, and one size will not fit all – a flexible approach is needed.

I would like to speak for the workers and their families!! I think they work long enough hours and reduced hours on a Sunday gives them valuable time at home. I work full time but the shops are open quite enough me for to shop, don’t let us be selfish and think of me me me.

Catherine says:
10 September 2011

It is absolutely absurd that shops close on Sunday when lots of people would like to shop on Sundays. I have an exhausting job and work long hours, so shopping on weekdays is impossible and on a Saturday, all I really want to do is have a rest and perhaps do some bits and pieces around the house. Only by Sunday am I starting to feel a bit more rested and ready to head out. But, as nothing’s open, I don’t bother. And, when I absolutely do need to buy something, I resent being forced to do so on a Saturday. So, in the end, I buy very little. I rather expect that allowing shops that want to open on Sundays to do so would give a solid boost to the economy.

Sue from Lancing says:
11 September 2011

I remember when all shops were closed on Sundays. Only little corner stores were open and strictly no booze could be purchased. It’s about time shops were allowed to open all day on Sundays if they want. I am sure they would be very busy! Also supermarkets should be able to sell alcohol on Easter Sunday and any other “christian” holiday. We are not all christians and should be able to choose to buy or not to buy!

We lost something valuable as a country when Sunday became a normal shopping day rather than a day for family, rest and relaxation. As a Christian I avoid shopping on Sundays and try to keep it a special day. The freedom of some to shop or use other services on Sundays comes at the expense of those who have to work to serve them when they might want to spend time with their families.

Tony Lohnes says:
11 September 2011

Sunday shopping should be banned and all non essential services as well. Workers need a rest and they need time to spend with their families. We need to start thinking about the environmental costs of having stores open seven days a week, Lights are on seven days a week, not to mention we are encouraging traffic on our roads seven days a week. As human beings we all need some quiet time and today we’re not getting it. The cost factor of having these stores open is another day is costing low income and seniors money they do not have. For groceries and clothes. You name it all costs are passed down to the consumers, because some people want the convienance. This is outrages that we must all pay more , so that others can shop. We all need a common day off ! Our families are worth fighting for. Let’s move into the 21st Century the right way with a ban on Sunday trading .

I would be happy for shops to be closed on Sunday and I feel sorry for those who have to work on Sunday if they would prefer not to. Mark has a point, and even without the religious aspect, most of us need time for relaxation.

Having said that, it is very handy to have DIY shops open on Sundays, in case something is needed urgently.

I used to be undecided on this but now I am not so sure.

Dean says:
2 December 2011

If you agree with a ban on sunday trading, check this facebook page out:


Maggie says:
11 September 2011

Like Sue I can remember when shops were shut on Sundays and I agree that we’ve lost something by shopping on Sundays – you only have to go into any town and see the crowds milling about. BUT we won’t be able to turn the clock back – the big retailers would create merry hell if it was tried so keep the current hours and perhaps allow shops in areas where Olympic events are to be held a special dispensation for the Olympic period.

I h8 Tesco’s advertising open 24/7 . Turn up at 22:01 on Saturday and their closed for the majority of the next 34 hours.

Let shops open whenever they want but protect staff from being forced to work anti-social hours if they don’t want to.

shop opening times should be staggered. whats the point of timpson opening at 830 am?? stagger the opening times and a lot of traffic jams will disappear. shops should open at say 11 am and be open till 9 pm. that will ensure more shoppers come to the high street and will also make high street safer. it will increase business for small shops. at present everyone goes to tesco after 5 pm because all lather shops are closed. all shops can come together and have a off day during the working week. whats the point of closing your shop when your consumers are free and want to come to your store?? and if you want the quiet of sunday …well stay inside your house and switch the TV off.

I personally prefer not to shop on Sundays – not for religious reasons but because i think it should generally be a more peaceful day, but we lost that opportunity years ago. So perhaps shops should be allowed to open at any time they like [upto 8pm unless planning consent is given] so long as they only open on six days a week. I wouldn’t put a bet on prices coming down, however.

I only have the weekend to do my shopping so more hours on a Sunday would be greatly appreciated! Also I’m sure this would also be a great boost for employment opportunities for students and those that prefer to work weekends!! In these gloomy economic times it is probably something to think about.I also think it should be optional for stores to open on Sunday’s. Might not be economically viable for all!

I remember the current law changing. One argument used was to follow the fashion in Europe, now that we were in the EU. Surprisingly, when we went to Denmark the following summer, all their shops closed on Saturday at lunch time and didn’t open till Monday.
I’m definitely with Lynne in these posts. Many workers are not given the right to opt out of Sunday working, to the great dislocation of family days off together. A day off in the week is not as useful as a family day if the kids are at school

I resent people trying to call us a Christian country and foist their faux-Victorian values on us all.

Yes, longer hours mean more hours worked by staff, which is good and bad depending on your situation. Frankly the model of shops open through the day and closing at tea time belong in the dark days of little wifey stuck at home.

Those of us that don’t do a Monday-Friday 9-5ish job need shops open when it works for us.

I work lots of hours in an eccentric shift pattern over a 6 day week. Sunday is my best chance to get groceries in, and if I snooze after taking the dogs on a really long Sunday walk I stand a good chance of another week of unplanned driveby shopping…

Tony Lohnes says:
4 December 2011

If you agree with a ban on Sunday shopping like our new page! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Our-Sundays/102221753225986?sk=info

AndyG says:
24 March 2012

I must be blind all these years! I hadn’t realised that shopworkers were the only section that worked on Sundays. I’m pretty sure that those people who are dead against having a bit more flexible approach to Sunday trading are quite happy to take advantage of the thousands of people who work on Sundays for them eg: petrol stations, trains, buses, taxis, airports, entertainment centres, eating and drinking places, cultural centres, factories, and where I work – the NHS!
Let shopkeepers try different hours. If the demand is there fine, if it isn’t then change it.