27 July 2012 12:41
Most people do not want Sunday trading laws to be relaxed permanently, with older generations in particular opposed to change, a new poll has found.
Rules limiting stores to six hours' opening, anytime between the hours of 10am and 6pm, have been set aside for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics to help retailers cash in on the Games. But research by polling firm Ipsos MORI shows 52% are against a permanent extension of the arrangement, with 36% in favour and 12% undecided.
However the figures show that younger generations appear more likely to favour change while some people with children are also apparently attracted to the convenience of longer hours.
Among 55-to-64-year-olds, 63% were against a permanent change, rising to 66% among the over-65s. But opposition was less strong among younger groups, at 42% among those aged 25 to 34 and just 35% in the 15-to-24 category. Among the latter group, 50% favoured change. The survey also showed that among those with children in the household, 42% wanted to see a change, falling to 33% of those without.
Sasha Birkin, associate director at Ipsos Marketing, said: "The government hopes that by temporarily suspending the rules, visitors coming to London will take advantage of longer trading hours which will help boost falling retail sales.
"Retailers in Britain are hoping the relaxation could provide them with a much needed boost in sales of around £220 million. Business and this will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase, not just London, but the whole of the country to the rest of the world and provide a boost for the economy, sales and employment.
"This generation of youngsters have spent most of their shopping lives post the 1994 Sunday Trading introduction and have grown up accustomed to unrestricted trading hours on other days of the week.
"The research shows that the younger generation of shoppers are less conservative than their parents and less attached to the idea of keeping Sunday special."