Retail news round-up on February 25, 2016: Government faces legal action over plans to relax Sunday trading norms and February retail sales dropped below normal.
Government faces legal action over proposals for longer Sunday trading hours
Campaigners are planning to launch legal action against the government over its plans to relax Sunday trading laws.
The Keep Sunday Special group has issued a 'letter before action', setting out plans for a future Judicial Review on the proposals to allow councils to let shops open longer on Sundays.
The campaign argues that the Government used outdated evidence for the review and has not published an assessment of its impact on family life.
A spokesman for the Keep Sunday Special campaign said: “We do not enter into this action lightly, and do so with a heavy heart. There are fundamental flaws in the process that the Government has taken and full consideration is needed, not the inadequate process that has taken place to date.”
Retail sales cools in February
UK high street sales dropped below normal in February owing to concerns over declining wage growth and economic slowdown.
The CBI's distributive trades survey gave a reading of +10 this month, down from +16 on January.
Meanwhile, retailers' expectations for sales in the month ahead eased to their lowest level since 2013, according to the poll.
The business lobby group said retail industry members were looking to slightly scale back investment spending this year.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics, said: "Overall, conditions remain challenging for retailers. Although sales have continued to grow and optimism has risen, expectations for sales growth are lacklustre and retailers are still wary of investing."