Sunday trade lifts profits

The introduction of Sunday trading is increasing the pressure on town-centre shops, accelerating the drift towards out-of- town retail sites, according to a survey to be published today.

The survey by Healey & Baker, the property consultants, says that shops which open on Sundays are seeing higher profits than nine months ago, before the change in the law to legalise seven-day trading. The increaseis, however, at the expense of shops that are not opening and not the result of extra spending.

Sunday has become the second busiest day of the week for those shops which open, with average sales equivalent to a third of Saturday turnover. The shops that choose to open tend to be in the clothing, electrical and home furnishing sectors - all business sectors which attract family shopping.

The findings will rekindle fears that the explosion of out-of-town retailing is killing off high-street shops - and confirm the view that town centres are doing little to counter the threat posed by the large shopping arcades.

There has been a growing realisation that government policy during the 1980s stacked the odds against the maintenance of lively, thriving town centres.

Recent planning guidance from the Department of the Environment has made it clear that the Government is now in favour of using the planning process to encourage shoppers out of their cars and into vital, viable towns.

In Birmingham, Bristol and Leicester fewer than 2 per cent of shops open on Sundays. By contrast, 99 per cent of the shops at the Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, Essex, open - as do almost half of those on London's Oxford Street. In Central Manchester 58 per cent of shops are opening all weekend. Paul Orchard-Lisle, senior partner at Healey & Baker, said: "So far, Sunday trading has made no fundamental difference to retailing habits.

"However, we believe that local authorities, chambers of commerce, property owners and providers of services need to get together in the principal town centres to develop a coherent strategy."

The implications of Sunday trading on the property industry were still unclear, but the trend was to marginal increases in the values of supermarkets and retail warehouses. Rental values were increasing in purpose-built shopping centres, but being squeezed in conventional town centres.

The survey also showed that calls for further deregulation were likely, including a change in the legal status of garden centres, which were unable to open on Easter Day because of the new rules. A quarter of local authorities were in favour of a complete deregulation of Sunday opening.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn