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Sunday trading relaxation – good or bad?

The relaxation of Sunday Trading laws has been the cause of debate among many for some time now, dividing MPs and retailers alike. Some say the change will help reverse the ailing British high street, others say it will push it into further decline. Whether you are in favour of the changes or not, the government has confirmed that local authorities will be given the opportunity to extend Sunday trading hours from the autumn, and has introduced the proposals as an amendment to the Enterprise Bill. The new powers are intended to give local high streets more flexibility to adjust hours to compete with online retailers and take advantage of tourist spend. According to Visit Britain, in Sweden full deregulation has increased turnover by 5%. The powers will also allow shop workers in England, Scotland and Wales the chance to opt out of working Sundays if they want to, for example on religious grounds or family reasons. Research by the New West End Company found that 64% of retail workers across London's Bond Street, Regent Street, Oxford Street and Knightsbridge support proposals, and that 73% of retail employees in some of London’s top retail areas believe that more flexible trading hours on Sundays will create more jobs. Others – including around 20 MPs and other retail groups – believe that scrapping Sunday trading restrictions will not help high streets; but will instead benefit large out-of-town business. The latest estimates suggest that small shops would lose £870 million in sales, resulting in 3,720 job losses in the retail sector. Equally, extending opening hours does not increase the amount of money people have to spend. Here at FSP we can see both sides of the coin, but would view this as an opportunity for local authorities to play a much bigger role in the way their town centres are operated and are hopeful that the changes will have a positive impact on the high street.  



This post first appeared on Page Not Found | FSP Retail Consultancy | Prope, please read the originial post: here

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Sunday trading relaxation – good or bad?

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