Over the past few months, we have been working with other retail organisations, unions and church groups through the Keep Sunday Special campaign to send a clear message to Government that changing Sunday trading hours is an unnecessary and damaging move.
During Prime Minister’s questions a couple of weeks ago, David Cameron answered a question on Sunday trading, but failed to mention anything about the economic impact of the plans – perhaps because he knows that the arguments for generating more money for the UK economy just don’t stand up.
Consumers don’t suddenly have more money to spend when big stores are open longer, but what does happen is that trade gets diverted away from smaller stores – something that will cost millions of pounds and thousands of jobs in the convenience sector.
Since the launch of the Keep Sunday Special campaign, MPs from across the political spectrum have been showing their support for retaining the existing Sunday trading regulations.
At this year’s Heart of the Community reception we had a record number of MPs attend to speak to retailers in their constituencies, and as a result of this and other efforts there is a growing rebellion within Government itself of MPs who are planning to oppose the change.
What these MPs understand is that the existing Sunday trading regulations are extremely important to thousands of convenience stores and, without them, many will lose out on trade that could be the difference between them making a profit and being in the red.
We are doing everything we can to ensure that the Government is made to think very carefully about whether they should introduce the changes, but you can help by contacting your MP and telling them about the impact the change will have on your business.
Every voice raising concerns to ministers is absolutely crucial, so your input could make a real difference to the campaign.