Apparently when Chancellor George Osborne does his yearly budget on Wednesday, he’s due to announce that the Sunday Trading Laws will be relaxed during the Olympics and for eight weeks shops and stores can stay open longer. Hooray!

It would seem that some groups are opposed to this, ‘Keep Sunday Special‘ are one of them.

This is what they believe :

‘We believe in having time for family, friends and community. We believe in time to rest and enjoy ourselves. We believe in working hard and living life to the full. And we believe in keeping just one day a week a bit special.’

I do tend to agree. But I’m just a bit confused as to why having shops open would lead to families being pushed to critical mass and exploding? The thing is, the world is a bit of a shit place at them moment. Sure, we’re not all starving, and there hasn’t been a zombie apocalypse. Times are tough. People aren’t spending like they used to and businesses are going under. The high street needs to adapt or die. Giving people a six hour slot on Sunday to buy what they need seems nuts. Let’s open it up a bit more, even if it is just 9-5.

Chelmsford High Street on Sunday

What will that mean? People will get more time to work (should they wish to). They’ll get more in their wages and they’ll have a bit more money in their pocket. For those not working on a Sunday, they can go shopping when they want to. IF they want to. If they want to go to church, or pop to Grandma’s that’s great too. Allowing shops and businesses to trade fully on Sunday won’t destroy Britain as we know it, it might actually help it!

You might not see your family if you’re working Sunday; you may see them Saturday, or any other day for that matter! I remember when the 24 hour drinking licences became available. The press was full of stories about how terrible Britain would be, people pissed all the time, fighting in the streets etc. What happened? Nothing. We’ve carried on as before. There is just a bit more flexibility in when you can get a pint.

We can’t keep doing things as we did to in the past and keep everything as it used to be. We’re a switched on 24/7 world we’re told, but walking down any UK High Street at 16.30 on a Sunday is like strolling through the past. Let’s give people more opportunity to spend their money on the High Street.

If the Sunday Trading Laws do become relaxed during the Olympics, I’d be interested to see the negative or positive impact it has in the country. What do you think?

Updated –

My former driving instructor, Stuart left this great comment to me on Facebook about how it works in Canada –

‘Shops here can open 24/7 365 days a year, Can’t say it cause one problem whatsoever. Some might open a litle later on a Sunday if they choose to. And a lot of the smaller shops in the small town where I live will shut on Monday instead. To be honest I think more people do something family wise on a Sunday than I remember people doing back in the UK. I’m not a religious person myself but it is quite a churchy country here in Canada and I am always amazed by the amount of people going to church. They are obviously not pulled away by the lure of an open shop 😉 ‘

One thought on “Updated – More Shopping on a Sunday!

  1. Laura Hakes says:

    Ok coming from someone who has worked in retail for years and as a retail manager in central London, here is my perspective….

    First of all it was Sundays and Bank Holidays. Why can't stores be open on these days? So they did it. They paid people double time for working them and said it was 'their choice'. Then there was the extended shopping hours, then there was 24 hour shopping. Then there was opening on Boxing Day!

    Fast forward a few years- you'd be very lucky to find any retailer paying more than single time for anything. Often you HAVE to work the Bank Holidays if it is your normal working day. Same with Sundays- double time? time and a half? what is that? Oh no, once one company takes it away the others follow suit because they can get away with it.

    My point is- Everyone needs time to chill! Retail is not an essential service. You're not going to die if you can't buy those shoes or that tin of paint. People have got so lazy that they can't pre-emt running out of milk by a Sunday evening. 

    ''get more in their wages'' ? – even if this WAS true would someone who has school age children want to trade it in with the little family time they have in a week?In the stores in my area you have people getting home at 11pm and having to be in work for 7am the next day. People who can't go home to see family living outside central London for Christmas because they HAVE to work boxing day and the mainline trains are closed/ can't get them into work on time.

    I see what stress this puts on families and relationships and have experienced it first hand. 

    Small shops can already open for longer than 6 hours. I think people who want to extend this to larger shops have either not thought this through or are just selfish. Shops should not have to be made to stay open for their entertainment. Shop online if you can't get enough of buying stuff you don't need!

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