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Retailers to benefit from extended Sunday opening hours

The Government confirmed plans to extend Sunday opening hours for shops during the Olympics, leading to a possible £200m in extra spending by shoppers

The current restriction of six hours trading for larger stores will be lifted for eight Sundays from July 22, covering the Olympics and Paralympics in the summer.

The Government said the Games represented a ‘unique’ opportunity for UK businesses, and longer opening hours would allow retailers to make the most of the event.

In his Budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

"We`ve got the whole world coming to London - and the rest of the country - for the Olympics. It would be a great shame - particularly when some of the big Olympic events are on Sunday - if the country had a closed for business sign on it."

Shopping comparison website Kelkoo said spending would increase by around £24 million on each Sunday if opening times increased by just four hours.

Chief marketing officer, Chris Simpson said increased spending would not necessarily carry on if longer hours continued after the Olympics, adding there are several downsides to the extension of Sunday hours, such as staff having to work longer hours and the additional overheads that stores will incur as a direct result.”

“This means that in the long term, retailers would have to be confident that the extra running costs would be covered by the additional consumer spend, otherwise it will negate the whole point of the exercise


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