Retailers call for end to Sunday trading restrictions

A campaign led by the UK’s largest retailers to end restrictions on Sunday trading is expected to trigger protests from trade unions and other staff representatives.

Tesco, Asda, Ikea and B&Q are among those behind the campaign, Deregulate, which is also backed by consumers’ association Which? and is set to be launched this week.

Under the 1994 Sunday Trading Act, stores of more than 3,000 sq ft must not open for more than six hours on a Sunday.

But retailers claim that two thirds of retailers and up to 56% of shoppers would like big stores to open longer on Sundays.

Usdaw, the retail union, said it was convinced that there was no appetite for longer hours among shop staff, consumers and most retailers for extending opening hours on a Sunday.

John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary, said: “Retail staff are entitled to have time off.”

Convenience stores and church groups are also prepared to protest against the plans.

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