Former Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose has criticised the relaxation of Sunday trading laws during the Olympics.

Rose believes the Government’s proposals to relax trading laws for two months from July 22 will be a “zero-sum game”.

Rose told the Daily Mail that the initiative would not boost trade during the period and would hit trade at independent shops.

He said: “The fact of the matter is you simply spread the same amount of business over a longer period, but with more operating costs. It’s a zero-sum game.

“Besides, if you can’t do your shopping in the time already available, what hope is there?”

The proposals, revealed in George Osborne’s budget two weeks ago, have divided opinion within retail.

The Co-operative and the Association of Convenience Stores oppose the move due to its potential impact on high street trade.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King argued the move would not boost trade and only affect a small number of stores in London.

But Asda, Debenhams and Boots have welcomed the move citing the greater flexibility and convenience it offers their customers.