Jagjit (Johnny) Singh wants to have a discussion about Sunday trading. He runs a Lifestyle Express at Church Balk near Doncaster. His hours are 5am to 9pm seven days a week. “We’ve got a big Tesco within walking distance and a Sainsbury’s half a mile away. Also Iceland, Netto, Poundland, Lidl. It was just Tesco and Sainsbury’s when we moved in six years ago.”
Johnny wanted to know what I thought might happen.
The first thing I thought when the news broke was that the Chancellor’s reasoning was somewhat skew-whiff. He said that everyone could buy online these days so why not let people visit the supers too? He forgot that small independents mostly cannot offer an online service so that little edge they were given on Sundays back in 1994 will be removed.
Not all retailers are worried about it, though. Some have found that their busiest days now are Fridays and Saturdays.
We also know that not all the supers want to trade longer on Sundays because they think it will just be spreading out the trade. However, if just one of them does open, then you can bet your bottom dollar that the rest will follow suit.
Perhaps we can hope that opposing backbenchers, Labour and the SNP will pull a ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ and give the proposal the what-for at the crucial point…which brings me to urging everyone to lobby their MP. And don’t forget that, should this become reality, it will fall to the local council to decide how to use this new power. So lobby them, too.