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(p. 29) that the recent bid by the National Retail Association (NRA) to extend Saturday trading hours to 7pm has been withdrawn for the time being, due to a procedural stuff up on its part.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:
My previous posts on retail trading hours include: