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West End retailers call for longer Boxing Day trading

Retailers including Arcadia, Debenhams and Selfridges have backed a campaign to allow stores to open for a full trading day on Boxing Day, which this year falls on a Sunday.

The New West End Company, which is leading the campaign, claimed that restricting Boxing Day trading this year to the usual six hours allowed on a Sunday would cost £50m in takings in the West End alone. Sunday trading law allows stores of over 280 sq m to trade for just six hours between 10am and 6pm.

Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green said “it does seem sensible when Boxing Day falls on a Sunday to give customers as much flexibility and time as possible for their post-Christmas Sales shop.”

Other businesses supporting the campaign are House of Fraser, and New Look. HoF chief executive John King warned that the volumes of shoppers being crammed into a six hour shopping window could cause potential health and safety issues.

The New West End Company is calling for emergency legislation to allow a longer trading day this Boxing Day. After this year, Boxing Day doesn’t fall on a Sunday again until 2021.

The New West End Company said as many as two million people hit Oxford Street over the Easter weekend.
According to the the New West End Company, the shopper turn out for the whole weekend was “respectable” with etailers on Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street recording successful trading on Good Friday.

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