Almost half of shoppers support longer Sunday opening hours on a permanent basis, according to a new poll
The survey, carried out by YouGov, discovered that 45% of consumers gave their blessing to such a move, with 24% believing it would provide a vital boost for the ailing UK economy.
Eight out of ten consumers said shops should be allowed to open whenever they want on Sundays with no restrictions at all, while more than a fifth of all those surveyed insisted they would shop more on a Sunday if the changes to opening hours were made permanent.
Hilary Ross, head of retail at business law firm DWF, which commissioned the report, said, “De-regulation in Scotland has illustrated that longer shopping hours can provide a positive experience for customers and retailers alike, and in light of the current need to stimulate the economy and the strong employee protection laws already in place, it is difficult to see the justification for continuing to regulate Sunday trading in the current way.
“All retailers will be keeping a close eye on this debate as any change may mean significant alterations to the way that they operate. For example, should the government permanently relax Sunday trading hours, retailers will need to take a careful look at managing the change for staff and consider taking on more staff where necessary.
“When increasing workers’ hours, retailers should be mindful that this may alter the entitlement to employer-provided benefits, and the cost of this should be factored in when conducting a cost and benefit analysis of longer opening hours,” she added.