What are you doing on Sunday…..?
It’s the day before the new week begins, a day to enjoy, a day to have fun. Of course, there are always a few chores to do, but by and large, we think of Sundays as a rest day. The government’s decision last week not to relax Sunday trading laws has come with mixed reactions. While MPs voted against the proposal to extend retailing hours for the larger stores, smaller businesses are still permitted to carry on as usual. The existing regulations are based on shop floor area, and limit the opening hours of the large stores. Consequently, the likes of food shopping needs to be mainly completed on any but the seventh day of the week. While there is no argument that extended hours would create thousands more jobs, the question is, do we need more time in the large retailers? Should Sunday be left at least semi-sacred? Should the incentive remain for us, as consumers, to carry out our ‘everyday shopping’ through the week, and leave Sunday for leisure? The kind of relaxed, ‘cream tea and village shopping’ that we all love on our day off. When the big retailers are closed, it moves us from superstores into boutique stores – an experience most would argue is a much more pleasant shopping encounter. It gives us time to wander and browse; to find those special somethings that always pop up when you are not really looking for them. Spare a thought for the staff. Increased hours mean that workers have less time for leisure too. Restricted Sunday trading hours give more people a chance to enjoy some weekend time. The present laws also provide the smaller retailers with one very welcome advantage over the relentless superstores. The current restrictions act as the only twig holding back the flooding tide of market domination. The ruthless bottom-line pursuits of juggernaut retailers do their best to bulldoze all other competition in a brutal and relentless monopoly. Sundays give small businesses a very appreciated chance to be noticed. Let Sunday be Sunday, a day to break routine. A day to do something different. Get out. Visit somewhere new. So, get the groceries done through the week, and keep your Sundays for fun and relaxed shopping. Enjoy a slower pace and shop for leisure not necessity. You never know what surpise awaits you, or what you might never have found if you went to a superstore instead.