Retailers in Western Australia will be able to trade for an extra four hours on two upcoming public holidays, after the state government approved a measure to loosen restrictions.
The extension means retail shops will be able to trade between 8am and 6pm on Monday, June 3 (Western Australia Day), and Monday, September 30 (Queen’s Birthday public holiday) in 2019.
Trading hours for these days were previously 11 am to 5 pm.
The decision continues the trend of state governments intervening on public holiday trading hours, allowing retailers to trade beyond regulated times in order to deliver greater service to consumers, as well as an opportunity to bring in extra sales.
This method was deemed a success by the Australian Retailers’ Association (ARA), when the South Australian government allowed Adelaide stores to open doors between 9am and 5pm on Boxing Day, leading to a 192 per cent increase in trade year on year.
“It’s clear Adelaide has voted with its feet,” ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said when the results were announced.
“More than 130,000 people – or 10 per cent of the overall population of Adelaide – flocked to retailers in the suburbs on Boxing Day, and that’s proof of the success in this itself.”
The result proved that governments should “get out of the way” to allow businesses to trade when they and their staff wish to, said Zimmerman.
“We believe that if consumer demand is there, and the businesses want to open and can pay their staff appropriately, then deregulating trading hours is a win for everyone,” Zimmerman said.