The Association of Convenience Stores has reacted with alarm to calls for Whitehall to ease Sunday trading regulations during the Olympics this summer.

Small retailers fear a relaxation in the rules governing larger stores could be announced in next week’s Budget.

“Any relaxation, even just for London, during the Olympics would erode our existing, popular Sunday trading rules,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman.

“Retailers will benefit greatly from the Olympics and they do not need a few extra hours on three additional Sundays to do it. If government makes this concession the big retail lobby will be pressing for all sorts of exemptions for other events during the year and the whole principle will be undermined.”