ARA welcomes extension of trading hours in South Australia

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the South Australian Government’s decision to extend retail trading hours for all suburban Adelaide shops and supermarkets to further support physical distancing.

The additional 30-day exemption will apply from Friday, 19 June to Saturday 18 July (inclusive) and permit supermarkets to open two hours earlier on Sunday (from 9am) and four hours later on a Saturday and Sunday (until 9pm).

ARA CEO, Paul Zahra said the announcement will ensure the continued health and safety of retail staff and customers, and help promote local business recovery.

“The South Australian Government should be congratulated for its move to extend the trading hours exemptions, which will support the retail sector to maintain physical distancing requirements during these challenging times,” said Mr Zahra.

“By spreading customer movements over a longer period of time, retailers can create a safer working environment, support those who find it impractical to shop during the day and provide more vulnerable individuals with the choice and confidence to shop at times where there is significantly reduced foot traffic.”

“The additional trading hour flexibility will also accelerate the financial recovery of retailers by providing suburban Adelaide shops and supermarkets with an increased window for retail sales,” said Mr Zahra.

Mr Zahra also said that while the 30-day extension is a positive step for local businesses, the temporary trading hour extensions that have been granted in South Australia to-date demonstrate that a more permanent solution can work and continue to benefit the local economy.

“There is a real opportunity to deregulate trading hours in South Australia by rolling out greater flexibility on a permanent basis and achieve greater consistency of trading hours across the state.”

“The ARA is very supportive of longer term flexibility to trading hours since, in the retail industry, weekends and evenings are peak times. Regular business hours have little relevance to businesses in the retail industry and consumer expectations are increasingly looking to greater levels of access to fit in with their flexible work and lifestyle habits,” he said.

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