By Paul Hemsley
Western Australian Minister for Commerce Simon O’Brien’s has hailed the introduction of Sunday trading an early success following a push to allow all shops to be open for business on what had traditionally been a day of rest.
In a move that brings the West into line with many other states, the WA government recently amended the Retail Trading Hours Act 1987 to extend trading hours to Sundays to keep the state competitive. The retail trading amendment became effective in late August 2012.
The changes mean that opening hours for retailers and all general stores now have the same trading hours of 11am to 5pm on Sunday or any of the allowed public holidays.
However the government said individual retailers can make the choice whether to open on Sundays because the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Act 1985 prevents the government from forcing retail to open on Sundays. These retailers need to look at their own situation to make that decision, the government said.
Mr O’Brien more than 80 per cent of shops have opened on Sundays with an average of 20,000 visitors at each major shopping centre, making it the week’s busiest shopping day.
He said this shopping surge means jobs for Western Australians as it is estimated that 1,000 casual jobs have been created under the Liberal-National government’s introduction of Sunday trading.
“It is also important to note sales have not simply been spread over seven days but have increased by between three and six per cent per month,” Mr O’Brien said.
The Shopping Centre Council of Australia’s figures on shopping trends show that customer visits has been stronger in Perth than in Brisbane and Adelaide when those cities introduced their own Sunday trading.
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