The law governing Sunday trading in the UK places some retail centres at a disadvantage compared to their international counterparts. Stores in England and Wales can open for no more than six consecutive hours between 10 am and 6pm on Sundays.
Most of the UK’s international retail competitors – such as New York, Milan, Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo – have no Sunday trading restrictions. In Scotland there are no restrictions on Sunday trading hours.
AIR will work to ensure that London’s two International Centres - Knightsbridge and the West End - are added to the existing list of exemptions from the Sunday Trading Act 1994. This significant but achievable legislative change would be worth an estimated £260 million in annual net additional sales in the West End alone and create over 2,000 new FTE jobs.
This quarter of a billion pound annual sales boost in the London International Centres will directly help high streets throughout the UK, particularly those struggling in the midlands and north of England. By generating significant additional revenue in these stores, national retail chains will be under less pressure to cut costs, stores and jobs in poorly performing areas in other parts of the UK.
Over time, AIR will work to extend exemptions to those areas with significant international retail demand, ensuring the UK remains competitive in retail tourism.