The relaxation of Sunday trading laws for the Olympic and Paralympic Games did not result in more customers in shops, according to shopworkers’ union Usdaw.
A survey of 700 Usdaw representatives revealed that 65% of stores were either quiet or empty during extra trading hours and that 56% of reps said that staff were put under pressure to work extra hours.
The survey also reported that 96% of reps opposed a permanent deregulation of Sunday trading hours.
Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said the figures proved there was little benefit to permanently relaxing Sunday trading legislation. “These results confirm Usdaw ‘s view that extending Sunday opening hours will do nothing to boost the retail sector or help create jobs and growth,” he said.
“The government promised that the temporary suspension of Sunday trading laws was not a trial or Trojan horse for permanent deregulation and I hope ministers will take the opportunity of today’s adjournment debate to end all the unhelpful speculation and confirm there will be no change to the current legislation.”
The government has not ruled out relaxing Sunday trading rules on a permanent basis. “If the government wanted to look at this again there would be an opportunity for wider public debate and new legislation would be required,” a spokeswoman for BIS said.