South Australians want more flexible shop trading hours

Friday 28 May 2021

Most South Australians would like to see more flexible shop trading hours, according to a new survey from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in conjunction with Roy Morgan.

The survey this week of 875 South Australians identified 60% want stores to open earlier on weekends and later during the week to suit their needs. All age groups were supportive of more flexible trading – the highest were the under 35s with 67% in favour. 66% of people in country South Australia also want more convenient trading hours for customers.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said South Australians have made their views loud and clear.

“Retailers live or die by responding to their customer’s needs – and customers have made their views clear on this topic. It’s high time for change and to let the voices of South Australians be heard and acknowledged at a referendum,” Mr Zahra said.

“We support the South Australian Government’s sustained efforts for more flexible shop trading hours, and we call on the Opposition and crossbench to listen to their constituents and allow them to have their say.

“The world has changed and unfortunately South Australia is living in the past on this issue to the detriment of South Australians and the local economy. We live in a modern society and traditional business hours have little relevance in 2021. People are working flexibly, splitting time at home and in the office, and parents are working around their own family or childcare commitments.

“Attempting to hold back the hands of time in this area will simply stifle economic growth in South Australia – particularly when the state has an unemployment rate above the national average and the second lowest GDP per capita in the country.

“Trading hour flexibility would provide a significant boost to South Australia’s economy. For retailers, weekends and evenings are peak times. If shops had the ability to trade for extended periods it would deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in additional wages – that’s more money in the pockets of South Australians. Money that would then be put back into the local economy.

“Domestic and international tourists will also benefit from this change, with strong expectations of flexible trading hours when they visit South Australia.

“We must do everything we can to create more jobs and support more economic activity. Making this change will bring South Australia into line with other economies and liberate thousands of retailers especially small businesses, to meet their customers’ demands.

“The bill to enable the referendum is due to be debated soon in the South Australian Parliament. It’s time for MPs to listen to the people they represent and not stand in the way of allowing them from having their say,” Mr Zahra said.

This ARA-Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey was conducted with a South Australian-wide cross-section of 875 South Australians aged 18+ on Wednesday May 26 – Thursday May 27, 2021.

“Do you think there should be more flexible shop trading hours in South Australia allowing stores to open earlier and later for customers convenience?”

“Do you think there should be more flexible shop trading hours in South Australia allowing stores to open earlier and later for customers convenience?”

By Adelaide & Country South Australia

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