SIR; I have written to the secretary of state of trade and industry, Alan Johnson, regarding media reports indicating that supermarkets and other large shops are set to be allowed to open longer on Sundays.
The Rural Shops Alliance is the voice of rural retailers and speaks for 7,250 village shops in England, the vast majority of which open on a Sunday, with that trade simply essential to their survival. In many cases the village shop is much more than a shop as it offers crucial services to its community.
Superstores claim that Sunday is now their busiest day of the week, although Tesco, in its oral evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group inquiry into High Street Britain 2015, said that Sunday was its third-busiest trading day.
Sunday is a big trading day for our retailers and the Sunday Trading Act is about the only legislation that provides some protection for rural shops.
The RSA is appalled that Johnson’s decision to look at further deregulation was made public without consultation with all sectors of the trade. This suggests that the government views small shops as less important than supermarkets.