Setback for Qld consumers as extended Saturday trading hours bid is dropped

The IGA at Baroona Road, Milton is always packed full of people from 5-6pm on Saturdays because Queensland’s archaic retail trading hours regulations mean supermarkets have to close at 5pm. As the number of shoppers and frequent traffic jams in the car park of the Baroona Road shops suggest, there is a huge demand for supermarkets to open later than 5pm on Saturday. Consumers are worse off by having to go to the IGA rather than a bigger supermarket. Although the Milton IGA is renowned for its range of gluten-free products, it generally has less variety and is more expensive than Coles or Woolworths.

Hence I was disappointed to read in yesterday’s Courier-Mail (p. 29) that the recent bid by the National Retail Association (NRA) to extend Saturday trading hours to 7pm has been withdrawn for the time being, due to a procedural stuff up on its part. Unfortunately, the NRA failed to place notices in some regional newspapers as directed by the Industrial Relations Commission. I have no idea when the NRA will be able to apply for extended trading hours again, but I doubt we will get extended Saturday trading hours for another 1-2 years at least.

My old friend and former Treasury colleague Joe Owen wrote this passionate piece about Queensland’s backward retail trading hours regulations last year:

Shutting up shop is harming our economy

My previous posts on retail trading hours include:

Easy way to make Brisbane more liveable

Retail trading hours restrictions holding back retailers

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7 Responses to Setback for Qld consumers as extended Saturday trading hours bid is dropped

  1. Jen says:

    That is very disappointing news. The NRA’s proposal was only a modest increase for Saturday trading, but it would have been a great help to many shoppers. IGAs are good, but they do not have the range of the larger supermarkets, so people who cannot get to the shops early will have to continue with a limited range of product offerings.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jen. I agree its only a modest increase in Saturday trading. The IGAs etc must be worried they’ll lose a lot of revenue, however, given how busy they are during 5-7pm Saturday.

  2. Roy says:

    If anyone thought these applications were hard to get through under Labor, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The LNP crew is comprised of the Woollies / Coles hating Nats and the small business oriented Libs. I wonder if the paperwork ‘error’ really was a cock up or if in fact it was a means of tactical withdrawal to save face after reading the writing on the wall.

  3. KS says:

    Weekend trading has been allowed until 9pm in Cairns CBD since last year which has certainly been more convenient for us city dwellers! Trading on public holidays can also be a problem particularly last year when there was that congestion of public holidays aorund April / May and some items were literally stripped from the shelves at the local IGA and not available!
    http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2011/04/11/158451_local-news.html

  4. Gene Tunny says:

    Thanks KS. I’m envious you have weekend trading up to 9pm up there.

  5. Pingback: OBPR recommends fast-tracked review of trading hours restrictions | Queensland Economy Watch

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