Consumers call for Sunday Trading Act reform

UK consumers are calling for a reform of the Sunday Trading Act, which came into force 20 years ago today.

A national survey by ComRes revealed that, when asked to what extent the British people would support or oppose a permanent liberalisation of Sunday trading hours, 64% of respondents were in favour of a reform with a third of respondents strongly supporting the idea.

The current bill restricts stores over 3,000ft2 to opening for only six hours between 10am and 6pm only.

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The online survey, conducted in March on more than 2000 adults, shows that 16% of those polled strongly opposed the concept of longer shopping hours on Sundays.

Across the UK, 18 to 24 year olds are the most supportive of full liberalisation, with 77% of respondents in this age group behind the reform.

The research was commissioned by Open Sundays, a campaigning group which is working towards the liberalisation of the Sunday trading laws.

Open Sundays co-founder Mark Allatt commented: “The Sunday Trading Act is outdated and needs to go. The Britain of twenty years ago is a very different place to the Britain of today – and we should be free to shop when we want and where we want. Online shopping has allowed us to shop whenever is most convenient for us; we can click and collect at 9am on a Sunday morning but can’t physically buy anything from the same shop until 10am – it doesn’t make any sense.

“Sunday trading reform would be good for consumers, good for the High Street and good for shop workers who want the freedom to work at the weekends when they choose.”

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