Store owners are being urged to contact their local MP about plans to devolve Sunday trading laws - before it’s too late.
Last week the government launched its consultation on changes to the Sunday trading regulations. The proposed reforms, originally announced last month and included in the Enterprise Bill, would give city mayors and/or local authorities the power to allow large shops to open for longer on Sundays. Thel authorities would have the discretion to zone which part of their governed area would be able to operate the longer hours.
The government said the move would help retailers better compete with online retailers and create new jobs, whereas the ACS maintains that longer opening hours would simply result in trade being diverted from smaller stores to larger stores, with no overall benefit in sales to the UK economy.
ACS chief executive James Lowman implored stores to speak or write to their local MP opposing 24 hour Sunday trading and asking them to relay their concerns to the Prime Minister.
The organisation has composed a template email on its website. It takes just seconds to complete and is automatically sent to retailers’ local MPs.
The changes could also cause widespread confusion for shoppers - with some local authorities opting for longer opening hours while others did not, Lowman added.
Independent retailer David Knight agreed. David, who owns two large Budgens stores in West Sussex and could actually benefit from longer opening hours, said: “I really don’t agree with the approach the government is trying to take. The ‘patchwork quilt’ effect will just confuse shoppers.”
The consultation applies to England and Wales and closes on 16 September. There are no plans to allow larger stores to open on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.
To send a template email to your local MP visit www.acs.org.uk/lobbying