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Sunday trading laws suspended for Olympics Monday, 23rd July 2012
Photo credit: My Retail Media
The government has ruled that Sunday trading laws in England and Wales will be lifted until the end of the Olympics and Paralympics.
Despite many retailers protesting that the move could do more harm than good to business, the government has maintained that being open longer on Sunday will help generate tens of millions of pounds in increased profits during London 2012.
The current legislation states that shops of more than 280 sq m (3,000 sq ft) can only trade for a maximum of six hours on a Sunday, between the hours of 10:00 and 18:00. Many smaller shops have benefitted in the past from this restriction as shoppers are unable to visit the larger supermarkets on a Sunday evening, so chose to shop locally instead.
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said larger shops would be "free to choose their opening hours on a Sunday" with "no restrictions on these hours" until the Olympics and Paralympics were over on 9 September.
Shop assistants will still retain their right to opt out of working on a Sunday.
Both Westfield and John Lewis have signalled that they will extend opening hours, whilst the big four supermarkets are likely to add extra opening hours and staff members to its usual Sunday operations in the South East for the duration of the Games.