Unitas Wholesale md Darren Goldney has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma, asking them to reconsider a potential relaxation of Sunday trading laws for supermarkets in order to protect the future of independent retailers.

Darren Goldney MD

In the letter he says: “During the Coronavirus crisis, small independent convenience retailers have provided a vital lifeline to the communities they serve. They have continued to trade through the most challenging conditions to provide essential support, products and services, all at huge personal risk. They have adapted their businesses, modified their stores and gone the extra mile again and again to ensure their customers, often the most vulnerable in their communities, have the products they need during the crisis.

“These small convenience stores are already competing with the ever-increasing power of the multiples, and benefit enormously from periods of time such as Sunday trading periods. By relaxing Sunday trading laws, even temporarily, small stores will see their footfall and sales reduce which will result in unemployment and even business closure for those stores already struggling with rising staff costs and the demands of the Covid-19 crisis.

“At Unitas Wholesale, we recognise the need to stimulate the economy however this must be possible without sacrificing this vital channel. I implore the Government to think again and work with us to protect the livelihoods of small independent convenience retailers across the UK.”

Unitas Wholesale claims to be the largest independent buying group in the UK, which services more than 30,000 independent retail stores, including over 1,000 symbol group outlets, through its members’ depots.