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18/08/2011 | Webreality

No, you may not shop on a Sunday

I’ve been surprised by the Jersey retail trade’s reported response to the opportunity to open on Sundays.

I have a lot of sympathy with some of the arguments put forward by retailers against Sunday opening. Resourcing it effectively, without burning out your sales team, must be a real challenge.

I’m more perplexed by the argument that says things like “it’s not the Jersey way.”

There are no doubt many people in Jersey who regard Sunday as different from other days, special for historical reasons, perhaps in some cases motivated by religious faith. And that’s fine. To my mind, if the shops were open, they could choose to stay away.

Here’s another scenario. Family of four. Mum and Dad both work to pay the hefty mortgage. A typical Saturday involves a big food shop, hoovering, cleaning and ironing, one child going to swimming in the morning, another attending a friend’s birthday party in the afternoon. Time for “leisure shopping”, or anything that requires a bit of shopping around or browsing, is very scarce. Being able to go to the garden centre on Sunday, or to a few clothes shops, or perhaps to get a new TV… that would take off a load of pressure. There’s enough of that during the week, after all. No wonder they turn to Amazon.

In the past, it was the law that prevented the Jersey consumer from shopping on a Sunday. Now that the law has been reformed, it seems like it’ll be the retail sector.

Wouldn’t be so bad if more Jersey retailers offered an online shopping option, but how many Jersey shops can you name that let you spend money with them online on a Sunday, or at 9pm on a Wednesday night?

It will be interesting to see what happens when a few of the big players do start to let the customers through their doors. I suspect that the heels that are currently dug in will emerge from the mud!

What’s your view? Am I way off the mark here?