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WA extends Christmas hours

 

Open signFor the first time in WA’s history, all general retail shops in the Perth metropolitan area will be allowed to open as early as 7am on weekdays and Saturdays during the Christmas period.

The extended trading hours, which begin on December 5, include an earlier 8am opening on Sundays and later 6pm closing on Saturdays and Sundays.

Shopping hours for Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and Australia Day have also be extended from 8am to 6pm, but general retail shops will remain closed on Christmas Day.

“The 53 extra trading hours in December and January will allow Perth shops large and small to better meet the greater consumer demand and compete more effectively with their online counterparts,” said WA commerce minister, Michael Mischin.

“While this decision will ease the restrictions on retail trading at a very busy time of year, it is by no means compulsory for any business to open and close at these times.

“It gives retail businesses greater freedom of choice and the ability to better cater for the demands of their customers who may want to shop earlier in the morning or later in the evening.

“The extra trading hours are a bonanza for consumers, who will enjoy greater convenience, choice and flexibility when doing their pre and post-Christmas shopping this year.”

Mischin said extended Christmas trading was consistent with the State Government’s policy of testing the gradual and incremental easing of retail trading restrictions.

“The Government has been at the forefront of retail trading hours’ reform with the introduction of late night weekday and Sunday trading which have proven to be popular with consumers and successful for businesses.

“The emergence of online shopping has made the retail sector highly competitive and we want to ease restrictions on retailers so they can better service their customers’ needs and maximise their sales, especially at Christmas time.”

The move has been welcomed by major retailers and the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA), though smaller retailers are not so pleased, citing further business pressures and obligations to pay staff.

ANRA CEO, Anna McPhee, said moves to liberate trading hours across the Christmas period are a positive step and will deliver employment and economic benefits for Western Australians.
“Western Australia has one of the most complex and restrictive retail trading regimes in the country,” said McPhee.

“The recent expansion of Sunday and public holiday trading hours within the metropolitan Perth area has been particularly successful, resulting in higher consumer spending for both large and small businesses as well as higher employment.

“Extended trading hours enable consumers to benefit from the convenience of being able to shop when they want to shop.

“Modern technology provides retailers with more channels to compete and provide consumers with more choices than ever before – it’s appropriate that the regulation doesn’t get in the way of retailers meeting the changing demands of shoppers,” she said.

Retailers seeking further information on the changes can visit http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/tradinghours.

 

 

 

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