At the moment, shops and retail in England and Wales over 280 sq m can only open between the hours of 10.00am and 6.00pm, for a total of 6 continual hours on a Sunday in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Sunday Trading Act 1994 (although shops less than 280 sq m have no restrictions in relation to opening hours).
The Summer Budget, however, proposed a review of these rules and the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and the Department for Communities & Local Government issued a joint consultation paper regarding devolution of Sunday trading rules to Mayors and/or Local Authorities with a consultation period up to mid September.
Retailers who might want to extend their opening hours will need to check whether there are any restrictions in respect of opening times in their planning permissions. Tenants will also need to check their leases for any contractual provisions which restrict opening times.
Landlords and tenants of retail premises in the process of negotiating leases should therefore consider whether any additional contractual provisions are necessary and shoppers and shop workers will have to wait and see what the future holds…