The History of Sunday Trading
Traditional Sunday was a symbolic day. For many it was a religious day of worship, rest, workship, roast dinners, mowing the lawn and time with the family.
So, inner cities we quiet places.
However in 1994 a law was passed to allow small shops to open all day and larger ones, those up to with more than 3,000 sq ft in size – in England and Wales to have restricted six hours opening, between 10:00 and 18:00. Retailers can be fined up to £50,000 if they break the rules.
Despite resistance from trade unions, religious groups and even Marks and Spencer and Waitrose the bill was passed.
What happened next was a new culture – a shopping culture. More than half the population regularly goes shopping on a Sunday.
Going to the shops became an event, even for those without the money, it meant people could window shop. The Shopping mall phenomenon grew from that moment.
All this means hundreds of thousands of people have to work.
This is good news for some. The moral argument, I would like to leave for others to debate.
Should we reform the trading hours
The recent reforms outlined the biggest shakeup in Sunday trading laws for 20 years, ending the restricted.
In an interesting article in the Scotsman newspaper, Scottish Retail Consortium Chairman, Andrew Murphy spoke passionately about the risks to the high-street. He said;
The high street is at serious risk unless action is taken now by the UK and Scottish governments to help mitigate the many threats to retailers’ livelihoods”
“The change in our industry is going to be so profound that you really need to start thinking about this now,”
Should shop open for longer on a Sunday
An interesting quote from Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, David Burrowes, He said
Sunday trading hours were “an issue of conscience” and challenged the need for the shake-up, saying retailers believed “sorting out parking and business rates” was more important for regenerating High Streets.
Members of the public are divided on the subject. I guess depending on what age group you speak to. The young are keen to have shops open, those who work longer than average hours also prefer it,
There are several areas to consider.
For the retailers, being open for long has an appeal. At a linear level, this offers customers the opportunity to spend for longer – what retailer would not want that.
However, there is a cost. the SNP are arguing for a staff premium for their efforts. There is also additional costs of electricity and so on. So, I guess the question is – is it affordable for retailers to open for extra hours?
If you are a retailer, let us know what you think.
Reading Scottish Retail Consortium has warned.
Talk about the High Street made for grim