Sunday move ‘could add jobs’
South Belfast MLA Anna Lo MLA has welcomed the consultation into shop opening hours on a Sunday saying it could provide an opportunity to increase employment in the retail field.
"It's absolutely imperative that in these devastatingly difficult economic times we do everything in our power to strengthen our economy.
“Increased Sunday opening hours will certainly do that and will provide the scope for extra employment opportunities in the retail sector too,” she said.
"An extension of the opening hours on a Sunday will also afford consumers more flexibility and choice regarding when they want to shop.
"Belfast is an exciting and vibrant destination to visit and we need to continue to maximise the potential of the city as a tourism destination by coming into line with other cities in the UK regarding shop openings."
The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, however, urged the DSD Minister Alex Attwood to listen carefully to the views of small traders, who would be adversely affected in the UK multiples were allowed to open all day on Sundays.
Glyn Roberts NIIRTA Chief Executive said: “Many of these small stores depend on selling newspapers and other grocery items such as milk and bread on Sunday mornings.”