Sunday Trading Laws Discussion

pitdiver

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I work in a Supermarket and have done for quite a few years. Regarding staying open late, pointless particularly on a Saturday evening. Quite easily close at 1800hrs.
 
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Tetchytyke

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there is a legitimate concern that they stand to lose significant business of larger shops open for longer hours.
I'd be really interested to know if the evidence in Scotland supports that fear, or not. I suspect not, but that is just my gut instinct and there's no knowledge to base it on.
 

Trackman

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If they do open all day Sunday, why would people spend more to 'boost the economy'- lets say over a 7 day or even 12 months period?
It doesn't matter to me when the supermarket opens, it could be 5 days or 24/7 I'm not going to spend more.
It just seems a convenience to me, but if one large supermarket opens all day the rest will follow suit in case they lose trade.
 

MattA7

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In Scotland we have never had Sunday trading laws and was very surprised when I found out there was such a thing in England. Why do they have such laws down south is it because English people are more religious than Scots?
 

Tom B

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Off the top of my head the regulations in Scotland were left up to each Regional Council (as was) who in effect chose to not impose any restrictions. Whereas in England, it was an act of parliament, with prominent religious support. At the time, I understand many shops traded illegally anyway, with any fines being significantly less than the additional profit generated.

Plenty of supermarkets will have flouted the act in recent weeks/months.
 

scotrail158713

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I'd be really interested to know if the evidence in Scotland supports that fear, or not. I suspect not, but that is just my gut instinct and there's no knowledge to base it on.
I have absolutely zero evidence to back it up - however I’d agree with you. It doesn’t seem to make any difference.
 

Butts

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In Scotland we have never had Sunday trading laws and was very surprised when I found out there was such a thing in England. Why do they have such laws down south is it because English people are more religious than Scots?
Have you ever been out of Scotland ? In answer to your question - No, just as many "heading for hell" both sides of the Border.
 

Hadders

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Off the top of my head the regulations in Scotland were left up to each Regional Council (as was) who in effect chose to not impose any restrictions. Whereas in England, it was an act of parliament, with prominent religious support. At the time, I understand many shops traded illegally anyway, with any fines being significantly less than the additional profit generated.

Plenty of supermarkets will have flouted the act in recent weeks/months.

The previous SUnday Trading Act allowed all shops to open on Sundays but restricted the type of goods that could be sold. This led to the farcical situation where it was legal to sell a pornographic magazine but not a bible.

I don't think plenty of supermarkets have flouted the law in recent weeks. Morrisons said that they were going to open longer hours on Sundays during the absolute height of panic buying but I'm not sure this actually happened. Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco certainly haven't flouted the law.
 

Butts

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The previous SUnday Trading Act allowed all shops to open on Sundays but restricted the type of goods that could be sold. This led to the farcical situation where it was legal to sell a pornographic magazine but not a bible.

I don't think plenty of supermarkets have flouted the law in recent weeks. Morrisons said that they were going to open longer hours on Sundays during the absolute height of panic buying but I'm not sure this actually happened. Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco certainly haven't flouted the law.
I'd hardly call Penthouse, Playboy, Men Only, Knave, Fiesta or Club International pornographic !!
 

Tom B

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The previous SUnday Trading Act allowed all shops to open on Sundays but restricted the type of goods that could be sold. This led to the farcical situation where it was legal to sell a pornographic magazine but not a bible.

I don't think plenty of supermarkets have flouted the law in recent weeks. Morrisons said that they were going to open longer hours on Sundays during the absolute height of panic buying but I'm not sure this actually happened. Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco certainly haven't flouted the law.
Perhaps not overtly, but I know there have been large supermarkets which have opened their tills at 9.30. Again, the chances of the store manager being prosecuted for such actions are vanishingly small.
 

Hadders

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Perhaps not overtly, but I know there have been large supermarkets which have opened their tills at 9.30. Again, the chances of the store manager being prosecuted for such actions are vanishingly small.
That's perfectly legal, it's called browsing time. Nothing can be sold through the tills until 10am though so you normally see customers waiting at the checkouts, shopping unloaded onto the checkout belt, waiting for the clock to strike 10am! There's also 30 minutes 'shopping up time' after the store has closed.

Fines for breach of the SUnday Trading Act are quite harsh which probably explains why no-one has tried it on.
 

pitdiver

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As mentioned upthread I work for a large supermarket. Our tills WILL NOT work before 1000hrs on Sundays. The local management have no control over that time. However we do operate a browsing hour for Key and Emergency Workers.
 

Busaholic

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As mentioned upthread I work for a large supermarket. Our tills WILL NOT work before 1000hrs on Sundays. The local management have no control over that time. However we do operate a browsing hour for Key and Emergency Workers.
Because I like considering things like 'unexpected consequences' I often wondered whether my local Tesco, a 24 hour store on weekdays, with a closing time of midnight on Saturday night, allowed any transaction through the tills even seconds after the midnight hour, but I wasn't prepared to test it out myself. Not great to find your weekly shop rejected at that unholy hour!
 

DynamicSpirit

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If they were really worried about that they could invest in dynamic pricing by time of day, using electronic shelf edges. The cost of doing that must still be higher than any gains from charging higher prices, then.
If any supermarkets have thought about that, I don't think it's the implementation cost that would have put them off. More likely to be the uproar from the public and the public relations cost, since any kind of dynamic pricing would inevitably be viewed by many people (and presented by much of the media) as unethical price-gouging.
 

DynamicSpirit

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If you wanted to provide for those who do want to keep the day special, you could legislate to ban companies forcing any member of staff from working on that day. They'd get enough volunteers if the pay was good enough.
You'd never be able to enforce that - at least in the current climate where the numbers of low-skilled workers applying for retail jobs is so much greater than the numbers of jobs available and it's relatively easy to give employees zero-hours contracts. People are going to do almost whatever their employers want because they know that if they don't work on Sundays, there are dozens of job applicants who will gladly take their place. It's not a good situation but it's where we're at.
 

Starmill

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You'd never be able to enforce that - at least in the current climate where the numbers of low-skilled workers applying for retail jobs is so much greater than the numbers of jobs available and it's relatively easy to give employees zero-hours contracts. People are going to do almost whatever their employers want because they know that if they don't work on Sundays, there are dozens of job applicants who will gladly take their place. It's not a good situation but it's where we're at.
Why not? That's like claiming that minimum wages are unenforceable. Enforcement of that is brutal once a case is exposed, though admittedly investigation could be rather better. I think that what you mean is that it would be unpopular with the business lobby.
 

WestCoast

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I work in a Supermarket and have done for quite a few years. Regarding staying open late, pointless particularly on a Saturday evening. Quite easily close at 1800hrs.
I suspect it depends on the branch, I worked part-time at one of the large chains until 2016 and we were often reasonably busy most Saturdays until about between 8pm - 9pm, closing time was 11pm. You often got people coming in on Saturday evenings buying ready meals and alcohol. Also, our tills were ancient and defintely would work before 10am on a Sunday but we just waited until 10am on the dot and yes more than once I had a customer whinging at me about it.
 

WestCoast

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In Scotland we have never had Sunday trading laws and was very surprised when I found out there was such a thing in England. Why do they have such laws down south is it because English people are more religious than Scots?
I mean as a shopper I'll gladly trade the fact that you can't buy alcohol before 10am or after 10pm in Scotland for the fact the shops are not madhouses on a Sunday afternoon like in England.

I think Northern Ireland has the most restrictive Sunday trading laws in the UK? As I remember it's only five hours and they mostly open 1pm - 6pm.
 

DynamicSpirit

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I mean as a shopper I'll gladly trade the fact that you can't buy alcohol before 10am or after 10pm in Scotland for the fact the shops are not madhouses on a Sunday afternoon like in England.
Personally, I'd gladly trade not being able to buy alcohol at those times - especially after 10pm - even without getting anything at all in return. ;)
 

Bletchleyite

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Personally, I'd gladly trade not being able to buy alcohol at those times - especially after 10pm - even without getting anything at all in return. ;)
I don't entirely see why people on shift work should not buy alcohol when it is convenient to them. Pubs are one thing, but I can see no grounds, other than in cases of specific identified antisocial behaviour in the vicinity of a specific shop, not to allow any shop licenced to sell alcohol to sell it at any time during their opening hours. So I think Scotland has this one wrong.
 

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