Most WA consumers want longer shopping hours on weekdays and Sundays, according to a new Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA (CCI) survey.
Nearly 60 per cent of those surveyed said they supported extended trade on weekdays, while 23 per cent said their feelings were neutral.
About 54 per cent said they were in favour of extended trade on Sundays.
CCI Chief Executive Deidre Willmott says the public’s feelings are clear – WA shoppers want retail trading hours reform now.
“It’s 2017 – it is high time that Western Australia’s archaic and bizarre retail trading laws were fully deregulated so consumers can choose when they shop and businesses can choose when they open,” she says.
“Whichever party forms State Government should finally set shopping free and cut the ridiculous red tape that limits retail trading hours – the current system stifles business activity, hinders job creation and is totally out-of-step with the needs of a modern economy.”
CCI’s survey also showed overwhelmingly consumers did not think extended trading hours would have an impact on family time.
About 85 per cent said reform would either have no impact or would actually have a positive effect on recreational activities.
Ms Willmott says this reflects WA’s modern economy in which shopping is an attractive leisure option and important driver of tourism.
“Shopping, retail and tourism activities enrich family time – not restrict it,” she says.
“CCI’s survey shows that not only do consumers feel that extended trading hours would have no impact or a positive influence on their lifestyle, but this desire for extended trade extends across the state.
“More than 60 per cent of metropolitan consumers supported extended trading hours on weekdays, which was not that far off the 53 per cent of regional consumers who were also in favour of extra shopping hours during the week.
“For Sundays 72 per cent of metro consumers either supported extended Sunday trade or expressed a neutral view – in the regions, this was 70 per cent.
“CCI has long-called for WA’s antiquated retail trading laws to be fully deregulated, so we call on all political parties contesting the state election to let business owners open longer hours and create jobs for the community.”
Premier Colin Barnett has pledged to make 9am Sunday Trading his first legislative priority if returned to office at the state election on 11 March.
Willmott says the WA business community has welcomed the commitment and called on WA Labor to do the same.
►Interested in learning more? View the full survey results.