Opinion: Relax Sunday trading laws during coronavirus crisis

Sunday opening hours in Waitrose

It is an age-old debate that splits opinion like few others in the world of retail: should Sunday trading laws be relaxed?

As the UK’s big supermarkets brace themselves for a fresh spike in demand during the Easter weekend and beyond, it is a question that has once again reared its head.

Executives from some supermarket chains are pushing for current laws – which only allow stores larger than 3,000 sq ft to open for six hours between 10am and 6pm on Sundays – to be relaxed during the coronavirus pandemic, as Retail Week has reported.

They fear they simply cannot achieve their mission of feeding the nation without a temporary easing of those regulations.

Convenience groups and independent c-store operators, however, are concerned that such a move would unfairly impinge on their sales.

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