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Sunday sales hit by extended hours for supermarkets

24 July, 2012

Retailers are already seeing a slump in shop sales following the supermarkets’ extended opening hours on Sundays for eight weeks during the Olympics.

From July 22, shops in England and Wales with a floor area of more than 3,000sq ft are allowed longer trading hours every Sundays until the end of the Paralympics.

This relaxation of the Sunday trading law has caused Top 50 Indie Symonds Forecourts to experience a noticeable drop in sales.

Nick Lloyd, managing director of Symonds Forecourts, said: “It is difficult to measure due to the weather, but at this point we are looking at a definite drop in sales post 4pm. The drop in sales between 4pm and 10pm accounted for 5% in sales. It is essential for our sector this does not continue after the Olympics.”

Meanwhile, a new report by KMPG has also confirmed that small shops will be hit by market share moving to supermarkets during the period of extended opening hours.

The report reveals that the only retailers to really benefit from the move would be those who have floor space of more than 3,000sq ft who can normally only open between a limited trading window of between 10am and 6pm every Sunday.

NFRN national president Alan Smith responded: “The KMPG report echoes our concerns that market share will simply be taken from independent retailers and gifted to supermarkets.

“We were concerned at the manner in which the Chancellor rail-roaded through these proposals, which set a precedent for supermarkets to argue further cases for opening on Sundays.

“It is illogical that all independent retailers will have to face added competition despite the Olympics only affecting certain areas; and that trading will be suspended on two Sundays where there are no Olympic events occurring.”

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