West End retailers call for increased Boxing Day trading hours
The New West End Company, which represents over 600 retailers on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, has launched a Save Boxing Day Sales campaign to increase shopping hours on one of the most important shopping days of the retail calendar.
This year’s Boxing Day for the first time in six years falls on a Sunday and the current limited trading hours will result in a £50 million reduction in West End takings alone.
Under existing Sunday trading laws, retailers with stores of over 280 square metres, which accounts for 99% of the West End’s stores, are restricted to just six hours of trading between 10am and 6pm. These laws were established long before the online trading boom, which reports that Sunday is the biggest day in their trading calendar.
Dame Judith Mayhew-Jonas, Chairman of New West End Company, says, “Boxing Day traditionally marks the launch of the January sales and a strong trading day is a vital boost to the retail industry and the UK economy, as it recovers from the global recession.
“London also needs to maintain its international competitive edge and the Christmas period is a key time for welcoming international visitors taking a Christmas shopping break. Reducing Boxing Day trading hours will have an effect on these visitor numbers and spend.”
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