FWD members supply and support around 72,000 food and drink retailers, for many of whom the current extended opening hours provide a valued and important advantage which helps them to survive. These stores are important in ensuring a range of choice for consumers and the vitality of our local communities and high streets. Far from ‘giving greater choice to consumers as to when and where they shop’ as the consultation states, FWD believes that allowing larger stores to open for longer on Sunday would lead to closures among independent shops, reducing diversity on the High Street and depriving communities of the unique, family-run shops that give their neighbourhoods character. These closures would also threaten the profitability of the wholesalers who supply 400,000 retail
and foodservice businesses.