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Minister dampens Sunday trading hours hopes

Hopes of a more permanent relaxation of Britain’s tough Sunday trading laws appear to have been dashed.

The coalition Government had previously announced plans to relax Sunday trading regulations throughout the London Olympics. Some had hoped that the changes would be preserved permanently if proved successful.

However, Retail Week quotes business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk as saying that there are absolutely no plans” to extend the changes.

We’ve made this a one-off during a unique occasion,” he added. We felt it was an opportunity to do something special and we’ve made it clear in the legislation that once the final day is concluded the policy will be revoked.

We will have many visitors coming to the UK and not just London and we wanted to give retailers the flexibility for them and their staff to trade when they want. It will also give families the flexibility to shop when they want.

In some areas such as rural locations the extended trading hours won’t make a huge difference but it’s about enabling businesses.”

Currently the changes will come into effect on Sunday July 22nd and end on Sunday September 9th.

Present rules dictate than any retailers over 280 square metres are restricted to six hours of continuous trading on a Sunday between 10am and 6pm. During the Olympic period this will be extended to 12 hours.

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