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Retail NI Opposes Sunday Trading Deregulation for Belfast

Retail NI has in its submission to Belfast City Council opposed any move to water down the current Sunday Trading laws. The Council was consulting on designating Belfast as a resort status, which would have relaxed Sunday trading laws, allowing large Supermarkets to open all day on eighteen Sundays per year

The current law states that shops over three thousand square feet can only open from 1pm.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI has serious concerns with this proposal, as it will essentially deregulate Sunday trading, allowing large supermarkets to open all day, for eighteen Sundays a year. This will have a critical impact on small independent local stores who trade on Sunday mornings”

“Large multinational supermarkets already have an unfair competitive advantage over independent retailers with free car parking in out of centre locations. The few hours trading our members have on Sundays before the multinationals open at 1:00 pm are absolutely vital to the survival of their businesses”

“The current Sunday trading laws are already a compromise and we see no need for widespread change”

 “Becoming a ‘holiday resort’ and extending Sunday trading hours would not support the Belfast Tourism Strategy, but would allow large businesses to trade for longer hours at the expense of small retail businesses and local high streets. We urge BCC to drop its proposal to allow extended Sunday trading hours across the entire Belfast Council area”.

 Glyn Roberts 07515710517