The National Retail Association bid for extended trading hours deserves support because it would be good for consumers and may provide a boost to a struggling retail sector (see my post from earlier this month: Economic weakness hits Queensland retailers). Today’s Courier-Mail reports:
The National Retail Association will today launch a legal bid to overhaul trading hours across the southeast, allowing stores from Coolangatta to Noosa to open from 7am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday.
The proposal, which covers Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan and the Gold and Sunshine coasts, is a fresh push to clarify Queensland’s garbled trading-hours regime, which costs the state more than $100 million in revenue and leaves shoppers stranded outside supermarkets every Saturday.
As I’ve noted before, the huge crowd at the Baroona Rd, Milton IGA every Saturday night around 6pm, after nearby Coles’ and Woolworths’ stores have closed, suggests there is a large demand for extended trading hours at supermarkets. While IGA does a reasonable job, its product range is much smaller than that of Coles and Woolworths, meaning consumers won’t get the maximum benefits from their shopping dollars.
It’s about time we end Queensland’s archaic trading hours restrictions, particular given that traditional justifications for restrictions appear less relevant in today’s economy and society. For example, see my posts: