Goldney opposes Sunak’s Sunday trading plans

Rethink your plans – that’s Darren Goldney’s message to Chancellor Rishi Sunak after suggestions he was looking to relax Sunday trading laws.

The Unitas Wholesale managing director has challenged Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma to reconsider plans to allow large stores to stay open for longer on Sundays in order to boost the economy in the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But despite the expected boost to spending triggered by increased Sunday shopping hours – which are currently limited to six – Goldney believes the mooted changes would negatively impact the independent retail channel.

“Small convenience stores are already competing with the ever-increasing power of the multiples and benefit enormously from periods of time such as Sunday trading periods,” said Goldney.

“By relaxing Sunday trading laws, even temporarily, small stores will see their footfall and sales reduce which will result in unemployment and even business closure for those stores already struggling with rising staff costs and the demands of the Covid-19 crisis.

“At Unitas Wholesale, we recognise the need to stimulate the economy, however this must be possible without sacrificing this vital channel. I implore the government to think again and work with us to protect the livelihoods of small independent convenience retailers across the UK.”

The negative impact felt by relaxing Sunday measures would be a big blow to independent retailers who have belligerently supported local communities in the face of the pandemic.

“During the coronavirus crisis, small independent convenience retailers have provided a vital lifeline to the communities they serve,” Goldney added.

“They have continued to trade through the most challenging conditions to provide essential support, products and services, all at huge personal risk.

“They have adapted their businesses, modified their stores and gone the extra mile again and again to ensure their customers, often the most vulnerable in their communities, have the products they need during the crisis.”

chancellor Darren Goldney Government retail Rishi Sunak Sunday opening hours United Wholesale