By aimee Chanthadavong

Perth retail Sunday trading hours will be extended in the lead up to Christmas after the state government gave special approval to the extension.

Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said trading hours for the three Sundays before Christmas would be extended, allowing all shops in the Perth metropolitan area to open from 8am to 6pm.
“The extra four hours for general retail shops is a significant extension of the current 11am-5pm trading times for Sunday,” he said.
“The additional hours will give all retailers large and small the opportunity to cater for greater demand from shoppers during the busy Christmas trading period and also provide customers with greater convenience, choice and flexibility.
“Bargain hunters hoping to take full advantage of the post-Christmas sales will also enjoy extended trading hours on Boxing Day, with retailers allowed to open from 8am to 6pm.”
Mischin said the move was consistent with the Government’s policy of gradual and incremental relaxation of retail trading restrictions.
“This extension, together with 9pm weekday trading, which the Government introduced three years ago, means there will be significantly more hours available for shopping this Christmas,” he said.
“While the retail sector has been doing it tough in recent years, we are committed to giving Perth retailers the greatest opportunity to maximise their sales this Christmas and get their new year off to a good start.”

The announcement follows a series of changes to Perth retail trading hours over recent years. Sunday trading for all shops in Perth metropolitan area began on 26 August 2012 while weekday late night trading until 9pm began on October 1, 2010 for general retail shops in the Perth metropolitan area.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman welcomed the decision with belief it’s another step towards the right direction.

“Further reform is needed to allow retailers to sell the products and services their customers want, when it best meets their needs,” he said.

“The ARA urges the WA Government to make these changes permanent across all Sundays and public holidays.

“Relaxing trading hour restrictions over the Christmas period will certainly encourage shoppers to open their wallets, but this initiative needs to be made permanent. Retailers are competing with increasing numbers of online retailers who are open 24/7, and if we don’t see further reform in the near future, we may see more and more retailers closing their doors for good.”