Claims made by Chancellor George Osborne about the link between online shopping and Sunday trading have been shown to be wrong and misguided by new polling, according to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
Polling of more than 2,000 consumers in January 2016 showed that two thirds of consumers had shopped online in January, but not a single person identified Sunday trading hours as a reason why they shopped online instead of on the high street.
ACS says the Chancellor is the latest of a number of government ministers to make false link between Sunday trading laws and the growth of internet shopping.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “There is no link in consumer’s minds between shopping online and trading restrictions early on a Sunday morning and late in the evening.
“The Government are failing to make a credible economic case for Sunday trading because experience from the 2012 Olympics, when shops were allowed to open all day on Sunday, showed no overall increase in sales just a displacement of trade from small to large shops. There are a growing number of government backbenchers looking to vote against the government on this proposal.”
During Treasury Questions on Tuesday March 1, the Chancellor said: “I personally think that one of the biggest changes we can make right now is to allow shops to open on a Sunday, which is the biggest single day for internet shopping.”
The main reasons identified in the Populus poll of 2,008 people for shopping online instead of on the high street are below:
1. More convenient / less hassle
2. Lower prices
3. Beating the crowds / avoiding queues
4. Access to a wider range of products
5. Better offers
No respondents cited Sunday trading hours as a reason why they shopped online instead of on the high street.