DTI plans survey of trading hours

constrictive Sunday trading laws are set to become more liberal.

Garden centres could see a change to constrictive Sunday trading laws after the secretary of state asked the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) to review further liberalisation of opening hours. Trading laws prevent retailers from trading before 10am and after 4pm. In the face of changing consumer expectations there is a greater need for retailers to be more flexible to suit their needs. The DTI will commission an independent economic cost benefit analysis for publication in spring. The HTA has welcomed the review and will consult its retailer members in order to present their views to the DTI in April. An HTA representative said: “Our industry does support the deregulation of shopping hours in principle, given the shortness of the season and the wish of customers to visit garden centres from a reasonable time in the afternoon.” Director Tony Blake of St Peters Garden Centre, Worcester, has been filmed on the matter for likely inclusion in the BBC’s Politics Show on Sunday 22 January. L Retailers wishing to give their views should email Maria.Bazell@ dti.gsi.gov.uk by 14 April.

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