ARA chief calls for consistent trading hours deregulation

(Source: Bigstock)

The Queensland, SA and WA governments have been urged by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) to deregulate trading hours for physical stores – in a consistent policy.

The ARA said the deregulation is to create a more flexible, safer, competitive and customer-friendly retail environment, as retailers try to address declining discretionary spending during the holiday period. 

NSW, Victoria and Tasmania have already embraced deregulated trading hours.

“The settings in the three states that have yet to deregulate are restrictive and don’t reflect the 24-hour retail economy we see around the world,” said ARA CEO Paul Zahra.

“This is a significant disadvantage to retailers within those states. It inhibits their ability to maximise sales at a time when higher costs of doing business and higher levels of debt are creating significant pressure.

“These issues are most evident as we head into the all-important Christmas trading period when many discretionary retailers make up to two-thirds of their profits.”

Consumers expect the convenience and ability to shop when it suits them without the pressure of limited opening hours, Zahra concluded.

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