The Marshall Liberal Government has announced it has approved Boxing Day retail trade in the suburbs again this year, following the “roaring success” of historic post-Christmas sales across Adelaide in 2018.
More than 130,000 people flocked to suburban retailers on Boxing Day last year, in addition to the CBD, with retail sales in the suburbs almost trebling (an increase of 192%) those of the public holiday the year before when only smaller, exempt shops were allowed to trade*.
Shop trading hours on Boxing Day again will also be extended in the CBD by an additional two hours, so they can open from 9am instead of 11am.
Boxing Day trade is in addition to a broader schedule of extended shop trading hours in the lead up to Christmas 2019, which have been gazetted, and includes extended trade on all five Sundays in December and the opportunity for shops to open until midnight on three separate nights.
It follows an announcement last week, that stores will also have the opportunity to open until midnight on Black Friday (November 29) for the first time – if they choose – as retailers capitalise on the burgeoning popularity of the worldwide phenomenon as a time to launch their early sales.
Treasurer Rob Lucas, who has granted the special exemptions under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977, said South Australians have been “crying out for greater freedom of choice in shop trading hours”.
“The roaring success of Boxing Day trade across Adelaide last year, which saw thousands of people queuing from early in the morning for the chance to grab a post-Christmas bargain, is further proof of South Australians’ desire for change.
“Analysis of Commonwealth Bank transactions showed that in the suburbs, Boxing Day spending was up 209% for Adelaide residents, 95% up for interstate visitors and 182% for people who live in regional SA.
“The analysis also shows that the CBD experienced an increase in customers (up 2.2%) and transactions (up 4.5%, but a small decline in the value of expenditure (down 4.8%) which was consistent with the interstate experience of small declines in retail spending in CBD areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“All up, the dollar value increase in suburban retail sales was 42 times greater than the small fall experienced in the CBD.
“While the Labor Party, led by former Shoppies union boss Mr Malinauskas, wants to stymie freedom of choice and keep retailers’ doors firmly closed, the reformist Marshall Liberal Government will keep fighting for the right of South Australians to shop, work and trade when they choose.
“Our position has always been if consumers want to shop, retailers want to trade, and employees are willing and able to work, why should the law stop them?
“Importantly, extended trading is entirely optional for retailers and staff and no one can legally be forced to work.”
SafeWork SA will also make it clear on its website that extended trading is voluntary.
Additional Christmas trading hours gazetted:
- from 9.00am (instead of 11.00am) until 5.00pm on the Sundays of 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 December 2019;
- until 12 midnight (instead of 9.00pm) on Thursday, 19 December; Friday, 20 December; and Monday 23 December 2019;
- until 6.00pm (instead of 5.00pm) on Saturday, 21 December and Sunday, 22 December 2019;
- from 9.00am until 5.00pm on Thursday 26 December 2018.
*Based on Government-commissioned analysis of more than 230,000 Commonwealth Bank transactions.