Business opposes retail cut
A POLL of WA businesses has found 70 per cent are against the McGowan Government’s decision to cut back extended shopping hours this Christmas.
The survey of 230 businesses from a range of industries also found 72 per cent believe local retailers suffered because they couldn’t compete with online shops that aren’t restricted by WA’s shopping hour laws.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, which has led calls for the Labor Government to reverse its reduction of extended trading hours, polled its members.
In past Decembers, Perth shops would by now be allowed to open an hour earlier from 7am, but retailers are this year being denied that opportunity until December 17.
The CCIWA said 66 per cent of polled small businesses disagreed with the decision and 58 per cent believed it would make people more likely to shop online instead.
Chief executive Chris Rodwell called on the Government to immediately review its decision.
“A clear majority of West Australians have said they disagree with the Government’s decision to reduce extended trading hours over the Christmas period and this has now been backed by WA business, including an overwhelming majority of small businesses,” he said.
The WA Liberals this week obtained submissions by retailers and unions to the Government.
The Shopping Centre Council of Australia wrote that last year there was “strong demand from both customers and retailers” for extended trading over Christmas.
Council executive director Angus Nardi said: “The Government’s approval aligns with our key recommendations for Sundays, along with our data and analysis that more people generally shop closer to Christmas.”
Commerce Minister Bill Johnston yesterday ruled out allowing shops to open from 7am before December 17.
“Those 7am starts at the beginning of December did not prove popular. There were no additional jobs created, so we thought this was the best compromise,” he said.