Thursday, 13 September 2012 00:22
AFTER some 25 years, the Western Australian state liberal government has approved laws allowing Sunday trading in Perth.
In a move expected to result in a wave of major new retail developments and refurbishments, Premier Colin Barnett, and the opposition, supported the legislation which replaces ad hoc rules that allowed only certain retailers to open.
Sunday trading was the subject of a failed referendum in 2005.
Melbourne-based Myer has been one of the first retailers to praise the move, adding the group would now “move more quickly to refurbish and expand operations in Perth”. The company has refurbished just one of its six Perth stores since 2006 but undertaking numerous major renovations of its east coast outlets since that time.
Retail giants whose development plans are quite advanced on the east coast, including Costco and Aldi, have not even considered a store in Western Australia – in part, it is reported, because of the sales volume the stores would have lost with the trading restrictions.
The WA economy is considered the fastest growing in the country, according to Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson.
Following the rule change general stores can open from between 11am to 5pm.
Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey expects trading hours will eventually be “totally deregulated” – despite him not being a fan.
“I don’t think we should open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday,” Mr Harvey told the AFR. “I don’t know why we can’t give our staff those three days.”