By Grant Shepherd
PERTH: According to Labor surveys the majority of Perth residents are opposed to the possibility of extending weekday trading hours, but a leading retail body’s findings are drastically different.
According to the Australian National Retailers Association’s latest survey the overwhelming majority of Perth residents want weekday trading hours extended to 9pm.
ANRA CEO Margy Osmond commented on the results of the survey.
“The comprehensive survey of 500 Perth residents found that 70 per cent supported extended weekday trading,” she said.
In addition to this, respondents aged 25 to 44 were the strongest supporters of the change with four in five in favour of the proposal.
The top five responses given as to why they want the changes were: more convenient for me/family (56%), it will make Perth a modern city (48%), it will give me more choice when I shop (46%), it will create more jobs (38%), and more competition will mean lower prices (27%).
“This is the clearest sign yet that Perth residents want the Government to deliver more flexible shopping hours. More importantly, extending trading hours will also create new jobs without hurting other businesses,” Osmond said.
“Australians increasingly lead busy lives juggling work and families so getting to the supermarket before it closes at 6pm is not always easy. Relaxing trading hours will make life easier for many people.”
Osmond highlighted that there is concern this move will hurt the small businesses.
“I understand there is concern that extending weekday trading will hurt small businesses, however allowing larger retailers to be open longer will create more foot traffic and have a positive flow on effect for businesses,” she said.
In addition to its own study, Osmond also brought attention to a past report carried out by independent grocers by ACIL Tasman in 2008.
According to the survey retail turnover per capita rose strongly in all but one state following the introduction of wider trading hours. A net increase in retail employment and increased trade benefits also occurred across all states.
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