Further relaxation of trading hours on retailers’ wishlist

Rundle Mall management says flexibility is critical to revitalising the flagging retail sector and expects extended trading to become a permanent feature in the future.

It has been a lean year for the retail sector but, with every lead-in to Christmas, hopes are raised.

Ian Darbyshire of the Rundle Mall Management Authority hopes bright times are ahead.

“[We are] optimistic that things are going to pick up, retail’s had it pretty tough through the winter, signs are it’s starting to pick up now,” he said.

Extended shopping hours again have been outlined for the Christmas period.

Deputy Premier John Rau says the Government is responding to public demand.

“I think the public’s made it pretty clear for some time that they’re looking for extended trading hours,” he said.

“The state in 2011 changed the rules to enable the extra trading hours to occur.

“It was very successful last year and I would expect it to be very successful again this year.”

Shops can open from 9am on Sunday mornings next month and until midnight on the Thursday, Friday and Monday before Christmas.

City retailers will be able to trade on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Mr Darbyshire is happy last year’s retail changes have been retained, but predicts the day will come when retailers more freely pick their opening hours.

“Eventually that’s where it’s going to end up. I’m from the UK and that’s very much what’s happened there,” he said.

“Sunday trading came in 20 years ago and then from there it was just a slow snowball rolling down the hill and getting bigger, eventually I think that’s where we’re going to go.”

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