Retailers locked out by trading laws
SHOPPERS in Childers could face a four-day lockout from supermarkets under trading hour legislation because of a quirk in the Christmas and Boxing Day holiday dates this year, the National Retail Association has warned.
Under regional Queensland trading hour laws, major retailers could be denied the ability to trade for four consecutive days over the 2015 Christmas period – December 25, 26, 27 and 28.
The situation has arisen as a result of the gazettal of the extra public holiday on Monday, December 28, when Boxing Day falls on Saturday, December 26, coupled with prevailing trading hour arrangements, which prevent major retailers in regional Queensland from trading on Sundays and public holidays.
National Retail Association CEO Trevor Evans said these trading hours had been brought about by a unique set of circumstances but were an unfair impediment for consumers and retailers.
“Shoppers in regional Queensland may have to brave the crush to stock up on groceries or else suffer unreasonable hardship if access to food and groceries supplied by major supermarkets is denied for four consecutive days,” Mr Evans said.
It will also have similar impacts for non-food stores and regional shopping centres. Those hoping to purchase toys, electronics and fashion in post-Christmas sales, or to exchange items, will need to wait until Tuesday, December 29.
To ease the problem, the NRA has launched a special bid in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to allow for one-off Sunday trading and Monday public holiday trading in 2015 in areas of the state that do not usually allow it.
“We are hopeful that this bid will succeed and assist in easing tension around what should be a joyful and stress-free Christmas period,” Mr Evans said.