The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has rejected the need for a relaxation in Sunday trading laws that would allow retailers to trade for longer on Boxing Day this year.

Larger retailers, backed by a campaign led by the New West End Company, have claimed that restricting trading on Boxing Day – which falls on a Sunday this year – would cost store groups £50m in sales in London’s West End alone.

However the ACS has argued that the British public would oppose any change in the law – which allows stores of over 280 sq m to trade for just six hours between 10am and 6pm.

According to its own survey, more than three quarters of the public support the existing laws, with only 5% wanting a relaxation of them.

Retailers including Topshop, House of Fraser, Selfridges and New Look have put their name to a campaign to relax the laws.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Our polling shows that the large retail companies arguing for relaxation of Sunday trading laws are out of touch with the public. The overwhelming public opposition to relaxation of Sunday trading shows that the current law should be retained.

“Local shops benefit from the current restrictions because it supports a balance towards local shopping in small stores on a Sunday. This is a balance that customers are clearly happy with.”