ACS has called on the government to retain Sunday Trading regulations, after comments made by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles suggested the government may review Sunday trading laws when the temporary relaxation of restrictions over the Olympics period comes to an end.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The temporary change this summer has simply diverted trade from small to large stores.

“Current Sunday Trading rules are the only competitive edge that local shops have over their much larger counterparts and removing that advantage could be disastrous for many convenience stores across the country.”

The government has considered a review of Sunday Trading regulations a number of times in recent years. On every occasion, calls to abolish the existing rules have been rejected. In passing legislation to extend Sunday opening for the duration of the Olympics, Ministers re-assured Parliament that it was not a pre-cursor to long-term changes on Sunday trading.

Earlier this year, ACS estimated the cost in lost sales to small stores to be around £480m. ACS also conducted polling in April 2010 asking consumers how they felt about the Sunday trading regulations. The results showed that 89% were in favour of either keeping or strengthening the existing rules.