BUDGET 2015: Councils await fine details on changes to Sunday shopping

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Budget statement to the House of Commons.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Budget statement to the House of Commons.

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Councils are eagerly awaiting the fine detail before reaching any conclusions on whether they will be able to extend Sunday shopping opening hours.

George Osborne says he is going to allow local authorities to decide whether stores can open for more than six hours in future.

Coun John Swindells, deputy leader of Preston Council, said: “The devil is in the detail. Whether it will filter down to our level or not we will have to wait and see.

“It could benefit the larger stores but whether it will help the smaller niche stores isn’t so certain.”

Christine Hewson, KPMG’s head of retail in the North, said: “I welcome the prospect of longer shop opening hours on Sundays for the larger stores.

“To offer a true Omni-Channel experience, retailers ought to have the freedom to have all channels open without restrictions to deliver what their customers want.

“The market and consumer demand will determine the hours.”

Scott Law, CEO at Pay4Later said: “Expanding Sunday trading hours will help create thousands of new jobs and save High Street shops across the country which are under massive pressure.

“The way we shop has changed and the law needs to change to reflect that as currently High Street stores are losing sales due to Sunday trading restrictions.

“The amount of shopping online is growing rapidly, and allowing more shops to open for longer on Sundays will increase their footfall and boost sales. Shoppers will welcome greater choice in how and when they shop, and extended trading hours on Sundays should be part of this.”