30/04/2008 - 14:58

CCI poll finds support for flexible trading hours

30/04/2008 - 14:58

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An independent poll commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA shows a record number of Western Australians support removing the current restrictions on shop trading hours.


An independent poll commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA shows a record number of Western Australians support removing the current restrictions on shop trading hours.

The recent survey, undertaken by Patterson Market Research, shows support in the Perth metropolitan area for weeknight and Sunday trading is increasing.

The survey conducted in February this year shows a clear majority (64 per cent) of the 304 people surveyed support deregulating shopping hours on Sundays - a rise of 9 per cent compared to the previous survey in June last year.

A further 61 per cent of respondents believed shops should be allowed to open on weeknights - an increase of 3 per cent.

The findings are further evidence that a growing number of Western Australians are seeking greater choice, flexibility and competition in the state's retail sector, CCI chief economist John Nicolaou said in a statement.

The strongest support for deregulation was among people under the age of 35. Nearly seven out of ten respondents (69 per cent) want to be able to shop on Sundays. When asked their views on weeknight trading, 70 per cent of respondents said the current restrictions should be removed.

Mr Nicolau said the mood for change is being felt across all age groups. Nearly two thirds of respondents over the age of 36 support the removal of the current restrictive trading hours laws.

Meanwhile, the latest research by the Commonwealth Grants Commission examining the economic performance of the states and territories provides further evidence why Western Australia's retail trading hours laws must change, Mr Nicolau said.

The report shows WA's Gross State Product has grown by 60 per cent over the past six years - the highest rate of growth in the country and nearly double the national average. Economic growth as a measure of State Final Demand has also been impressive (up 35 per cent).

While the data confirms Western Australia's role as the economic powerhouse of the nation, the same can't be said for the state's retail sector. Retail turnover increased by 9 per cent over the same the period - the lowest in the nation and almost half the rate of growth compared to the national average.

CCI strongly believes that the state's archaic retail trading hours laws contribute to this imbalance by restricting growth, competition and innovation in the local retail sector.

The latest independent polling and the Commonwealth Grants Commission report provide further evidence why the state's retailers and Western Australian consumers will benefit from a flexible and competitive retail sector.

 

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