Split over extending Sunday opening hours

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SOME of the country’s biggest supermarkets are split over whether to extend trading hours on a Sunday, according to reports.

Yorkshire-based retail giants Asda and Morrisons have called for a review of the trading laws 20 years after legislation allowed stores to open legally on a Sunday for the first time.

Currently stores can open for six hours between 10am and 6pm but pressure is building for this to be extended.

A Morrisons spokesman told The Yorkshire Post it believed the Government should listen to customers over the issue.

He added: “Increasingly they want to shop at different times and sometimes they want retailers to be open earlier and later. We’d support a law that is based on what customers actually want.”

Asda has also said it would support a review of Sunday Trading laws.

A spokesman told a national newspaper: “Our customers’ shopping habits have changed significantly in recent years with convenience ranking high, alongside value.

“Retailers need to adapt to meet the needs of customers, which is why we support a review of Sunday trading laws.”

However retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s are said to support the current rules.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We know our customers appreciated the extra flexibility on a Sunday around the Olympics and would not be opposed to seeing this repeated, for example around Christmas. Such a decision is, of course, a matter for Government, striking the right balance between this extra flexibility and the growing number of ways there are for customers to shop already.”

Mark Allatt, co-founder of Open Sundays, a group of retailers campaigning for reform, said the rise of online shopping means the current law is “outdated” He added: “Sunday trading reform would be good for consumers, good for the high street and good for shop workers.”