The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, today lauded the announcement by South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas that trading hours would be extended on Boxing Day – reprising the success of suburban Boxing Day trade in 2018 – and a handful of other dates before Christmas.
Speaking after the Treasurer announced that South Australians would again be able to shop in Adelaide’s suburbs – following Lucas’ announcement last week shops across the Adelaide area could open late on “Black Friday” on 29 November – Mr Zimmerman praised the government for accommodating changes in retail trends.
“These are popular shopping times with consumers, and the government’s decision is a big step forward for retailers in both the Adelaide CBD and in suburban areas,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Retail trade in the suburbs rose by 192% on Boxing Day 2018, which is a success on any measure,” he added.
Mr Zimmerman said longer trade on Sundays in December – plus three nights of midnight trade and later closes on the 21-22 December weekend – allowed more time for Christmas shopping, and would be a boon for traders.
“This is about letting people shop when they want to shop, and we know from experience everywhere else in Australia where trading hours are liberalised that a move like this is a win for consumers and traders alike.”
Mr Zimmerman said the global Black Friday craze – increasingly used to launch Christmas retail sales – was a phenomenon, and that it was pleasing the government supported retailers by letting them trade if they wished.
“Black Friday is a bright spot for traders in a struggling sector. It’s great the government is supporting it,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman said the ARA would support the Marshall government “to the hilt” on increased deregulation of trading hours, and said he hoped the announcements by the Treasurer were a sign of more to come.
“We think retailers should be able to trade when they want to, taking into account demand from their customers, and Boxing Day 2018 certainly showed consumer demand for extended hours exists,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Full deregulation in other states didn’t kill High Street and didn’t kill small enterprises; rather, it was backed by shoppers who voted with their feet, and we hope South Australia follows suit,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.