According to a leaked government report, Johnson wants to extend opening hours for stores over 3,000sq ft to kickstart the economy following the lockdown caused by the coronavirus.
In the video message, Stuart Reddish, the owner of Baxters convenience store and post office in Sheffield, told the prime minister: “If you value us don’t give Sundays to the supermarkets.”
He explained how the current Sunday trading regulation had worked well, giving independent retailers a “key advantage” over their multiple rivals.
“People want their local stores to thrive, not to be overwhelmed by the supermarkets,” he said, adding that independent retailers are at the heart of their communities and offer customers essential services.
Reddish said throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people had turned to their local stores and it was important for the government to support them and their communities.
Allowing supermarkets to open for longer than the allotted six hours “would not increase business”, Reddish said. “It will just move it around, costing jobs, threatening businesses and damaging the high street,” he explained.
In the video, the prime minister was also reminded by the NFRN national president that a Populus survey showed that 58% of the general public was in favour of Sunday trading laws. “They have worked well for many years. We are very concerned about your intention to change these laws,” he said.
According to the government report, the laws, which were first introduced in 1994, could be suspended for up to a year.
Watch the video:
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