The British Independent Retailers Association has expressed concern over proposed relaxation of Sunday trading laws.
Under plans being suggested by the Government, England could suspend Sunday trading laws for a year in a bid to boost the economy.
But Bira – which has added its support to the Keep Sunday Special campaign – is opposed to the proposals, saying it would not benefit small independent retailers.
Sunday trading laws were introduced in 1994, limiting shops with retail space over 280 sq m to a maximum of six hours trading. New legislation would allow bigger stores to open for longer on Sundays.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We are concerned about these proposals; we believe it would be to the further detriment of the high street. It would reduce footfall on a key trading day – Sundays give independent retailers the chance to compete with the large chains.
“All stores opening normal hours on Sundays is not good for the high street in general and for the smaller retailers. We already know retail parks are prospering by comparison and I do not see any good argument for making these changes.”
Bira has joined the Association of Convenience Stores and a host of other organisations in writing to the Prime Minister to raise their concerns as part of the Keep Sunday Special campaign.
Bira is the umbrella organisation of the Pet Product Retail Association.