SHOPPING tills must ring till late every Sunday in the Christmas run-up to assist the ailing retail sector, Ministers are being warned.
Service Secretary Alok Sharma is being advised to make a last-minute intervention to relax the trading guidelines to offer stores a “battling possibility” of survival.
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Extra hours might also have a ripple effect for neighboring hospitality sectors if they are allowed to open from Wednesday (Dec 2).
Tory MP Nickie Aiken last night stated: “Huge retailers should be offered the chance to spread out more Christmas cheer by opening up until late on the three Sundays in the run-up to Christmas.
” In this post-Covid world we need to support the sector which could have a knock-on effect for leisure and hospitality particularly in city centres.”
Non-essential shops have actually been closed since national lockdown procedures were brought in previously this month.
Aiken, who represents the capital’s West End and wants stores open until 8pm, said: “This is just a response to the method we live today.
” It’s a little odd you can go shopping online 24 hr a day but you can’t browse or go shopping in a bigger shop after 6pm on a Sunday.
” There will be a mad rush to purchase Christmas presents in those last few weeks so lets provide shops a fighting possibility of being successful.”
The relocation for longer opening hours have actually already been backed by the British Chamber of Commerce and Marks and Spencer.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey stated “Whatever you consider Sunday trading guidelines in regular times, these are simply not regular times.
” By increasing opening hours on Sunday on a temporary basis we give individuals more time to store, suggesting social distancing will be simpler.
” This will help to safeguard consumers and staff – who already put themselves and their households in risk due to the fact that of their tasks.”
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John Longworth, Chairman of the Independent Service Network, said: “The days of Sunday being a closed day have long gone and it would make sense to enable consumers to have more free time by unwinding the existing restrictions.
” This will be particularly crucial as we attempt to recuperate the economy post the Covid crisis.”
A Business Department representative said: “The existing laws on Sunday trading still use. We continue to have regular conversations with the retail sector and will keep steps under evaluation.”
Primark to open 11 stores for 24 hours on December 2 as it extends opening hours before Christmas