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Longer Sunday trading would boost the economy

Longer trading hours on Sunday will help to boost the economy, according to our latest research.

Examining trading patterns across our retail customers, we found that Sunday is a busier trading day than Saturday, on an hourly basis. With retailers processing 2 per cent more in-store applications an hour on a Sunday than Saturday.

As the UK’s largest retail point of sale credit provider, we work with 3,000 retailers to provide over one billion pounds of consumer lending each year, to over one million UK customers.

Our analysis shows that customers are losing over £63million a year due to the restricted Sunday trading.

Managing Director, Gerald Grimes said: “It is clear that extending trading hours will provide a boost the retail sector and wider economy. Our retailers complete more applications per hour on a Sunday than any other day of the week.” 

“We have to recognise that consumer habits have changed, and that this can have a positive impact on our society. We are heading towards and 24 hour convenience driven society, not just in retail but in all elements of our life and the current debate around the NHS is just one example.

“The revenue benefits would be wider than just retail, with leisure, food and beverage sectors immediately benefiting from the additional footfall and dwell time on Sundays, which could revitalise the UK’s high street.”

The research looked at all retail finance applications from the last 12 months over a seven day period. Saturday and Sunday were the busiest trading days, with Sunday showing 2 per cent higher trading volumes on an hourly basis.

Government plans to relax existing restrictions on Sunday trading, which limit large shops to opening for a maximum of six hours, were defeated in the House of Commons. The proposals aimed to devolve responsibility to local councils.