Retail industry bodies the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) have called on members to write to their MPs explaining the negative impact that proposed changes to Sunday Trading regulations could have on their business.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The existing Sunday Trading regulations are a small but crucial advantage for thousands of convenience stores who are operating on very tight margins, many of which are on the edge of profitability. It is essential that retailers outline the damage that removing Sunday Trading rules could have on their business by writing to their local MP and asking them to raise the issue with the Prime Minister.”

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter commented: “We are disappointed that the government feels these changes are necessary, however we will not accept them willingly. Our aim is to engage as many small retailers as possible and that’s why we are urging them to take action. It is crucial that retailers let their MP know how much of an impact changes to Sunday Trading hours will have on their business, we cannot let them go blindly into this most important of decisions.”

In the Budget, the Chancellor outlined plans to devolve the power to allow large shops to open at any time on a Sunday to local authorities, promising that more details would be revealed in a consultation on the issue. However, this consultation is yet to be published despite being initially scheduled for release two weeks ago.

A template letter is available for retailers to download from the ACS website. Retailers are also encouraged to write their own letters, detailing their personal experience of the importance of Sunday Trading rules.

The proposed change would only apply to England and Wales, as there are no restrictions in Scotland.