Drapers’ Victoria Gallagher and Ruth Faulkner discuss the Sunday trading hours.
NO. I don’t believe the shops should continue to have relaxed Sunday Trading hours after the games have finished. Personally, I don’t think there is any need when most of the shops in central London are open until at least 8pm most week nights and some of them even stay open until 8pm on Saturdays as well. Is it really necessary for stores to be open for this long on a Sunday as well?
I know that those in favour of the move would say it is a good thing for the economy – giving consumers more time to shop and encouraging them to part with their hard earned cash. However, retailers have reported struggling enough in the current economic climate, without having the associated overheads of having to open for longer on a Sunday.
The general public at large are not used to being able to shop on a Sunday evening and, as a result, probably wouldn’t do even if they could. Sunday evenings are for relaxing before you start the working week and not charging round the shops.
With this in mind, I wouldn’t think it would be worth many retailers taking advantage of longer Sunday opening hours as they would have to pay out to staff their shops when the likelihood is that they wouldn’t get many customers anyway.
If people really are that desperate to shop after hours on a Sunday then surely they could just do so online? Countless retailers have already said that future growth is likely to come from online and internationally, so it makes little sense to be investing more into having bricks-and-mortar stores open for longer.
YES. Surely in these tough economic times retailers need every chance possible to reap as many sales as they can.
If opening for slightly longer on a Sunday helps then so be it. Retailers, in particular indies, are struggling and so additional trading hours could potentially mean businesses remain in the black and can continue to trade. If the traditional Sunday trading hours go back to normal after the Olympics we could see further desolation on the high streets.
Extended opening hours could also help the general wider economy, something which most definitely needs a boost at the moment. Extra shopping hours means added footfall and additional pennies in the tills, something to help lift the depressed climate. If we eradicated Sunday trading hours altogether we may be one step closer to repairing the economy.
In having extra opening hours retailers may also be able to employ additional staff, something which will once again help the economy by reducing the rate of unemployment.
With people’s lives getting busier and busier many don’t have time to scoot round the shops at lunchtime or after work, therefore having shops open for longer at the weekend would give the general public the perfect time to shop. Also on Sundays many people would be more relaxed and have time to browse giving retailers the opportunity to encourage additional purchases.
Extending opening hours during the Olympics will be the perfect trial to see how retailers fare without restrictions and in my opinion something that could see the UK economy wining gold.