MANAGERS of Meadowhall this week welcomed the relaxation of Sunday trading laws during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
They are preparing to respond to large shops in England and Wales being allowed by the Government to trade for more than six hours on Sundays over eight weekends between July and September.
Darren Pearce, centre director of Meadowhall, which was among the pioneers of Sunday opening in the 1990s, said: “Meadowhall Shopping Centre welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to relax the Sunday trading laws during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, allowing retailers to take full advantage of the expected trading opportunities.
“Meadowhall will be speaking to centre’s retailers in line with the proposals about how best to embrace the plans for all concerned.”
Chancellor George Osborne said the move was designed to maximise the economic boost from the tens of thousands of visitors coming to London for the games. Elsewhere in the country, he hopes shoppers will be encouraged out by the lighter summer evenings.
But shopworkers’ union Usdaw is “vehemently opposed” to the idea, saying the Government’s own consultation indicates no widespread support from either retailers or the public for change.
Critics, including church leaders, also fear relaxation for the Games could be the first step towards making permanent the relaxation of the laws.