Sunday trading: no change to supermarket hours

Proposals to reform the Sunday trading laws will be rejected by the Government, according to a report this week in the retail trade magazine Convenience Store.

In an interview with the magazine, Small Business Minister and Conservative MP Matthew Hancock said that the Government had “no plans to change existing laws.”

If Mr Hancock is as good as his word, it will come as a relief to the wholesale trade and to tens of thousands of independent retailer across the UK, as a campaign to scrap the existing laws (which allow only limited opening for large stores on Sundays) by fellow Tory, Philip Davies (MP for Shipley) has been gaining momentum in recent months.

Indeed, Mr Davies recently tabled five amendments to the Deregulation Bill – currently in Report stage and due to be debated in Parliament later in the year – and his proposals were supported by a new pressure group called Open Sundays, which claims to be a “broad alliance” between shop workers, retailers and consumers”.

The Davies amendments included:

• Competely repealing the Sunday Trading Act 1994;

• Allowing supermarkets and large stores to open eight hours on Sundays;

• Exempting garden centres from Sunday trading laws;

• Suspending all Sunday trading restrictions during the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The Association of Convenience Stores welcomed the news.

The full story can be found on Convenience Store’s website here:

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