Leading UK retailers call for longer Sunday trading hours

Monday, 26 October 2015

A group of London's most influential retailers, including the likes of Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty of London have stepped up their campaign for longer trading hours on Sunday in order to offer consumers more flexibility with their

 shopping time.

Fourteen UK retailers located in the West End and Knightsbridge have banded together to send a signed letter to the members of Parliament asking them to vote for longer opening hours on Sunday. "Our biggest stores have their Sunday opening hours restricted and are forbidden from opening after 6pm on that day," reads the letter, which was published by the Sunday Times. "We are literally forcing visitors to choose between spending in our shops and visiting galleries, parks and museums. Surely we can give them the opportunity to do both?"

The letter stresses that by extending the closing times on Sunday from 6 pm to 8 pm would create 2,000 additional jobs whilst adding 260 million pounds extra income. The joined letter was sent not long after Prime Minister David Cameron announced it was "time to modernise our approach to give families more choice," despite opposition from labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and a number of his own MPs. As part of plans first unveiled in the July budget, the government aims to hand over certain rules to local councils and mayor throughout England and Wales to relax trading rules which restrict the number of hours larger stores can be open on Sunday.

Chief Executive Officer at Sainsbury's Mike Coupe has stepped up to counter proposals in regards to Sunday trading hours, warning they may be too complex and not necessarily something customer are in search of. The proposed laws "are open to interpretation and open to abuse. There’s a lot of complexity in the way it’s being framed, said Coupe to the Guardian. He added that the current rules were fine, a "a happy British compromise. There’s no customer demand for it, or colleague demand for it as far as we are concerned. The current rules work."

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