Retailers in major shopping districts around Sydney will be allowed to trade 24 hours a day over the next weeks in an effort to give local traders a much needed boost during the crucial shopping period.
Starting today, selected retailers and local shopping centres will be allowed to extend their trading hours without requiring specific planning approval.
Russell Zimmerman, executive director for the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), said the industry strongly supported the initiative, which was also backed by the NSW Minister for Planning, Pru Goward, and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro, provided retailers who didn’t want to open for extended hours during the Christmas shopping period were not forced to do so.
“This move should help NSW in continuing to be the growth engine for the Australian economy while other states are going through structural adjustments,” Zimmerman said.
Eligible shopping areas include Sydney CBD, Parramatta, Bondi Junction, Penrith, Blacktown, and Liverpool.
The Australian National Retailers’ Association (ANRA) is forecasting the next fortnight of Christmas spending to be the biggest of the year as most Australians, with around $7.6 billion is expected to be spent nationally this week with the average family anticipated to spend about $965 on Christmas preparations.
The ARA is predicting $45 billion will be spent in pre-Christmas sales from November 5 until December 24, representing a 4.3 per cent gain during the same period in 2013.
“The ARA now calls on state Labor and the NSW Upper House independents to support the government and allow Boxing Day trade for all retailers who want to open – not just the current restricted areas which kill trade for small and large businesses on the busiest trading day of the year,” Zimmerman said.