Sunday trading laws relaxation for Olympics to boost UK Retailers

19 March 2012 (Last Updated March 19th, 2012 08:14)

Retailers in the UK are expected to benefit from £90m boost, as the government is set to relax Sunday trading laws during Olympics this year.

Retailers in the UK are expected to benefit from £90m boost, as the government is set to relax Sunday trading laws during Olympics this year.

The temporary change in trading rules is likely to be announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his 21 March budget, reported Reuters.

The measure will allow large stores to extend their opening hours on the eight Sundays during the games period.

Current laws restrict large stores in England and Wales to open for only six hours on a Sunday, but from 22 July, stores may be permitted to extend their opening hours.

The move will help the nation's beleaguered retailers, many of which have struggled over the last year owing to the less spending from cautious shoppers.

In addition, the measures will also help the economy, which started to show signs of pick-up after enduring a jerky recovery from the 2008-09 recession.

The trading rules relaxation by the government is part of a broader push to find ways to capitalise on this year's Olympics.

The nation is hosting the games at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £9bn, as the government battles to control its debts.

West End shopping district retailers expect that permitting stores to trade for extra four hours, over the games period, is likely to allow an additional 100,000 people to shop and yield more than £8m.

However, the regulation is not expected to include small shops that have lobbied against extending Sunday opening hours amid concerns they may lose business to big retailer.