The government has confirmed that Sunday opening hours will be extended during the London Olympics. For eight Sundays – starting July 22 – large stores will be able to trade for longer than six hours and, according to analysts, the move move could lead shoppers to spend almost £200 million.
You would think – given the parlous state of the economy – that this is an announcement that we should/would be celebrating, right? Wrong. The ‘Keep Sunday Special’ brigade believe that being able to shop longer on Sundays will destroy family life.
What rubbish. First up, spending quality time with friends and family shouldn’t be consigned solely to Sundays. Secondly spending time with family and friends should be born of a genuine desire to do so – and not simply because shops are shut and we are stuck at home twiddling our thumbs.
And what about those such as myself who work six days a week (Mon-Sat inclusive) and therefore only have Sundays to shop? Larger stores have been given the green light to trade for more than six hours during the Games, but I would like to see banks and post offices also open for business on Sundays.
In this increasingly busy, bustling – and above all – modern world that we live in, limiting Sunday shopping hours strikes me as a ridiculously outdated concept. Sunday shopping hours should be extended not just for the Olympics, but beyond… It’s not compulsory for stores to open on Sundays if they don’t want to/can’t see the value, so – I ask you - where and what is the harm?
Sundays have long been the most mundane day of the week for those of us who don’t play golf or attend church. Speaking of which, it goes without saying that the Church of England is up in arms over Osbourne’s scrapping of the Sunday trading restrictions. “ The Church of England would strongly oppose any further attempts to erode the special nature of Sunday, which legislation still reflects,” says a spokesman for the Church of England.
Conversely, lifting the Sunday trading restrictions after the Olympic Flame is extinguished would ensure that – for me – the Sabbath is kept special. I absolutely adore shopping: it seems to make any stress slip away and is, I would argue, akin to a religious experience. There is nothing better than retail therapy: assistants smile as they share your shopping experience and clothes come beautifully wrapped in delectable card bags that remind you of that special shopping moment and can last for weeks, months – even years – to come.
The bottom line? Sundays should be spent doing what YOU want. Spend your spare time at church, with your family or at a football game. I don’t care: just let those of us who want to, have our sacred shopping experiences on Sundays.