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We ask our Retail Advisory Board if Sundays should be left as they are

Should shops stay open for longer on Sundays?

With Tory MP Philip Davies hoping to shake up Sunday trading laws so shops can legally stay open for longer, and Royal Mail, Amazon and DPD trialling Sunday delivery services, do the members of the PCR Retail Advisory Board think such changes to the traditional day of rest will be good for business – or should Sundays be left as they are…?

STEVE LING, Executive Director, Overclockers UK:

“We would welcome [the proposed changes], definitely. DPD has already started shouting that they’re going to be delivering on Sundays.

We haven’t got confirmed pricing yet, but as soon as that option is available – and is legal – then we’d definitely do it, as we already use DPD.

It gives greater choice to customers and means they don’t have to hang around all day in the week for their deliveries – that’s a big stumbling block for online retailers. A lot of our customers work from Monday to Friday, so if they have more options for deliveries, then that’s fantastic.

In terms of stores opening for longer on Sundays, it’s a tough call. Sunday has historically always been
a religious day, so I can understand why some people would want to protect Sundays from becoming a seventh day of the week.”

CK, MD, YoYoTech:

“To be honest Sunday has already become a normal trading day for pretty much everyone.

I think it’s actually a good thing and will bring the customer back to retail. Online is obviously a 24/7 business anyway.

We are becoming lazier as we get these services – smartphones have made us very lazy.

Although it’s sad in a way that we do things on a Sunday, it’s no different to any other day. More shoppers do go out now on the weekend, so I don’t think opening a store late on a Sunday is a bad idea. Longer hours are a good idea – make it a normal day.

Post being delivered on a Sunday is good for online retailers but obviously not so benefical for High Street retailers. And none of us want to receive bills on a Sunday, to be honest. It’s not good for the High Street – it would kill it further.”

MIKE BARRON, UK Channel Manager, Synaxon:

“I think the current legislation is a good balance, with the smaller retailers being able to choose their opening hours and the larger stores restricted to six hours on a Sunday. The smaller retailers need all the help they can get – as do our town centres, High Streets and village stores.

We are already hearing of plans for a Sunday postal service within the M25 area, and as long as the trade unions get the right deal and people are prepared to volunteer, this will soon become the norm.”

LORELEI GIBB, Marketing Director, Dolphin Computer Upgrades:

“Running your own business requires you to put in the hours – in fact I would hazard a guess that between all of us we probably already work 24/7.

That said, I remain envious of those shops on the continent that just close their doors for siesta time regardless of how much money they could be making if they were to stay open.

At some point there will be a backlash against the time that we all already spend working, but that will no doubt come after shops are open on Sundays as well.”

TIM LEROY, Head of Marketing, Novatech:

“Our Portsmouth store is no longer open at all on a Sunday – the in-store footfall was decreasing all the time – but we’ll be watching the recently announced Sunday deliveries trial closely, as we can see this being popular for consumers.”

GAVIN HOLDER, Director, GHI Computers:

“We are actually debating whether to close our stores on Sundays to curb the costs of operating a small store; retailers are currently hemorrhaging trade quicker than the market can provide new products to diversify into.

That said, I appreciate that it probably costs large supermarkets more to be closed than open under current Sunday trading hours.

If the Government sees to it that these supermarkets are allowed to open longer on Sundays or, worse still, not close at all, then I fear this would be another foot-long nail in the coffins of small businesses up and down the country.

In conclusion: leave it as it is.”

PCR asks its Retail Advisory Panel-formed of buyers and experts – about the biggest industry trends and issues each month.

To join, email dominic.sacco@intentmedia.co.uk

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