Relaxed Sunday trading will only be for Olympics

DESPITE speculation to the contrary, George Osborne was adamant yesterday that the relaxing of Sunday trading laws will be a temporary measure.

“When millions of visitors come to Britain [this summer] we don’t want to hang up a ‘closed for business’ sign,” the chancellor said.

But he added the legislation will be “limited... to eight Sundays only” from 22 July to 9 September.

Justin King, chief executive of J Sainsbury, said he saw no reason for the Sunday trading laws to be relaxed on a more permanent basis: “The current status quo is a good British compromise – Sunday is a special day – and one we are broadly comfortable with.”

Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said while the extended shopping hours will boost trading during the Olympics and ease pressure on the city’s infrastructure, the relaxed trading laws would be unlikely to result in higher spending over the long term if revised permanently.