The ACS has written to business minister Mark Prisk claiming he has misunderstood its evidence concerning the impact of relaxing Sunday Trading laws.

Last week, Prisk told The Grocer he didn’t accept the ACS’s prediction that extending the hours of stores over 3,000 sq ft for eight Sundays around the Olympics (from 22 July), would hit small shops to the tune of £480m.

The prediction was over-pessimistic, he said, as it was based on all trade at these stores transferring to nearby larger stores. However, in his letter to the minister, ACS CEO James Lowman made it clear its figures were based on an estimated £1,500 per store on each Sunday. This was not, as the minister had claimed, based on all sales made during the extended hours switching to larger stores but a proportion. “This was downgraded from the data we received from members - who returned an estimate of £2,000 per store - because we did not want to overplay the problem.”

The ACS also pointed out the government’s impact assessment was unable to provide its own estimate as to the cost.