Stuff.co.nz 13 April 2014
Overly restrictive Easter trading laws have driven shoppers online at the expense of stores and Parliament should change the “outdated” law after the election, retailers say.
Retail Association chief executive Mark Johnston said consumers were increasingly shopping online on Good Friday and Easter Sunday when most shops were forced to shut.
According to electronic transactions operator Paymark, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day are three of the four slowest shopping days of the year.
But online spending, both domestically and overseas, rose 17.7 per cent for the two restricted trading days in 2013 compared to the previous year, according to BNZ researcher Marketview, although the amount spent was still less than a regular Friday and Sunday.
The law was outdated, Johnston said, and the association would be asking for the legislation to be amended after this year’s election to keep up with the changing retail landscape. The law did not take into account that people were buying goods from New Zealand stores at Easter anyway.
Unions are opposed to change. First Union retail secretary Maxine Gay said our shopping laws were already among the most deregulated in the world. “Easter is one of the few guaranteed times that retail workers can have off.”
Retail staff worked long hours for low pay already and had “precious little” time with their families, she said.