A change to Sunday Trading laws would displace trade from local shops that have been keeping communities going during the pandemic, said ACS chief executive James Lowman in response to the government’s proposal to suspend existing regulations for a year to help boost the economy.
Lowman said: “The majority of the public are in favour of the existing Sunday Trading regulations, which strike the right balance between the needs of shopworkers, consumers, high streets, small shops and supermarkets. Changing the current laws would serve only to displace trade from the local shops that have been keeping communities going during this pandemic. If anything, local shops and other retailers have been reducing the number of opening hours in their business to keep their staff safe while re-stocking and cleaning stores, and we expect non-essential retailers to operate with limited hours when they re-open later this month.”
“There are many measures that have been recommended through high street reviews and task forces in recent years that could support the recovery of high street businesses, but at no point has a change to Sunday Trading regulations been considered and with good reason. To upset the balance that has been struck on opening hours on Sundays would put small shops at risk, with increased costs but no guaranteed benefits for their larger counterparts.”