Budget comment: Relaxation of Sunday trading laws consultation

Wednesday 8th July 2015

Andy Brian, partner and retail specialist at Yorkshire law firm Gordons:

“The consultation on extending Sunday trading hours comes at a challenging time for the retail sector.

“In economic terms it will be seen as a positive move as the intention will be to drive growth across the retail sector and create new jobs, as well as to provide more flexibility for consumers.

“That said, in terms of grocery retail it is likely to have a negative effect on independents and symbol retailers  who operate smaller stores which already benefit from more flexibility for Sunday trading. Also, the supermarket operators which operate large networks of convenience stores will be concerned about the cannibalisation of business from their smaller stores, where prices are often higher.

“Online retail, both inside and outside grocery, could also be adversely affected by extended opening hours.”.

“The retail sector is constantly evolving and meeting the needs of consumers is crucial if retailers are to reap the rewards. However it remains to be seen if longer opening hours will be a win-win solution.”