Sunday Trading won't change, thanks to London 2012 failure

24 September 2012

a man in his shopThe London Olympics was supposed to be some kind of retail saviour, getting us all excited enough to buy things from shops. Instead, we all stayed in and watched telly for the whole of summer.

During London 2012, there was a relaxation of laws surrounding Sunday trading, but alas, it made virtually zero difference, which means the new rules that allowed traders to stay open for longer than the six hours between 10am and 4pm won't be changing any time soon.

Retailers themselves can't agree on whether a change in Sunday opening hours would be a good or bad thing. Sainsbury's and Tesco are against changes, while Philip Green, owner of Top Shop, thinks it would be good to extend opening hours around Christmas.

This debate comes on the back of data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) which said: "The impact of the global financial crisis on UK retailers has been severe, long-lasting and continues to be felt."

And the Olympics didn't help because people were either watching the events or put off from shopping because of inevitable travel disruptions in the capital. A report also showed the worst figures in half a decade for online shopping too.

With petrol prices and energy bills still rising (and a high possibility of higher food prices), it doesn't look like confidence in the market is going to return quickly.

In short, we're doomed.

14 comments

  • TC
    I don't understand why there's a law in the first place? If the law wasn't in place, who/what's forcing a shop to be open between the "Standard" 9-5 on the Sunday? If they want to only do 10-4, then surely they should be allowed? If it's an employee rights thing (I'm presuming this comes from the Sabbath as a day of rest thing, which in itself is ridculous that we have religion dictating the terms around retail), then get them to sign a contract if they want to do outside the 10-4 on a Sunday, I'm sure people would be willing to sign them.
  • faz
    I'm not sure I get the gist of this. "Sainsbury’s and Tesco are against changes". Tesco in my home town (in Scotland) are open 24 hours a day and only close at 8pm Christmas Eve, opening at 8am Boxing Day, then the same at New Year. And you can bet your bottom dollar that they'd be open 24/7/365 if they were allowed to open on Christmas Day.
  • The M.
    Never understood why companies assume we'll all have more money to spend if they open Sundays.
  • macadee
    There aren't any Sunday trading laws concerning opening hours in Scotland though faz, so what Tesco do in their Scottish stores has absolutely no bearing on what their views are on changing the law in England & Wales. I know what you mean though about them wanting to be open to try and make more money.....
  • Kevin
    @Dissafected, because we don't only buy that we need, we buy what we want. Add more opportunities to see those things and we might buy them. Not everyone is poor, not everyone is living on the breadline. Go into town every weekend and you'll see everyone from rich people to chavs buying up clothes, computers, dvd's etc, yes, even in a recession. It's all about the size of the stores. Anything under a certain footage can open long hours on Sundays. Before that was the Co-Op, who opened say till 6pm. Now they are opening till 10pm in some places. So more smaller Tesco and Sainsburys stores are now opening those long hours before. A lot held back, even if they were allowed to open longer, as to not annoy people. But if one supermarket on a street is opening till late on Sundays why shouldn't all the others?
  • Bungle2000
    "If it’s an employee rights thing (I’m presuming this comes from the Sabbath as a day of rest thing, which in itself is ridculous that we have religion dictating the terms around retail), then get them to sign a contract if they want to do outside the 10-4 on a Sunday, I’m sure people would be willing to sign them." Ha ha, so what you're saying is that all those Christians or Roman Catholics that might consider Sunday a special non-work day refused to work, the only people left would be those of a foreign or immigrant religion......oh, and atheists.
  • Idi A.
    Ah yes, we must accommodate the religitards. I seem to recall that when Sunday trading was completely outlawed, the gift shop at Westminster Cathedral was always open.
  • Robert
    Good why does every one want change Sunday were not Scotland Sunday are special and it give the staff in these shops a break
  • Mr. P.
    @ Robert Would you like to try again, in English?
  • Shifty n.
    Kevin....your kinda of boring in a boring way
  • Chewbacca
    Friday trading laws should be introduced to allow all god serving people to attend the local mosques.
  • Chewbacca
    Robert doesn't speak good England innit. Probz wants Friday afts off to go to mosque innit then visit, I mean smoke hookah...
  • Alex
    Surely this "experiment" is massively, horribly flawed - running it alongside the Olympics which had a huge effect on sales (it turns out negatively, but it could have been positively) means the results are worthless. Do it for a month in March next year, say, and see how it goes then. Unless of course that was the intent - I think before the Olympics they were expecting increased sales (contrary to all previous Olympics, as I recall) so maybe it was a way to cook the results and get the changes through that backfired?
  • Absinthian
    @Bungle2000 "Ha ha, so what you’re saying is that all those Christians or Roman Catholics that might consider Sunday a special non-work day refused to work, the only people left would be those of a foreign or immigrant religion……oh, and atheists." I think you'll find that Roman Catholics fall under the remit of Christians (well technically at least!)

What do you think?

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