Perth residents trooped to shopping malls and other retail outlets on Sunday for the first time as Western Australia's amended Sunday trading laws took effect on Aug 26.
With the amendment, stores in the city are allowed to open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays and holidays, which would keep Perth in line with eastern states.
"There is no doubt that West Australians are voting with their feet. And very quickly Sunday shopping will become the main shopping day of the week, if not already," WA Premier Collin Barrett said.
He pointed out while at the Karrinyup Shopping Centre that it is not only the supermarkets and major chains that opened on Sunday but also small shops. The premier said that the half-filled malls would become full as the warm months approach.
Mr Barnett said he expects fashion, electrical items and furniture shops to enjoy better sales as couples shop together over the weekend.
The amendment of the law took 25 years of argumentation in WA. The initial push for Sunday trading was made in 1986 by Eric Kelly, then the chief commissioner of the WA Industrial Relations Commission who initiated a change in WA's retail trading laws which only resulted to minor changes and Saturday afternoon trading.
It is particularly expected to benefit the retailers as well as employees who would enjoy Sunday pay.
Coles General Manager of WA Mark Armitage said the supermarket giant is expected to open 300 new jobs in Perth, but will initially increased the rostered hours of current staff before hiring new people.
"We asked Western Australian families and more than two-thirds of them told us that they were looking forward to the flexibility and convenience of Sunday trade," Perth Now quoted Mr Armitage.
"Trading is a business that should be left to traders and their customers. They're the people putting up the money and my view hasn't changed. I'm a bit disappointed it's taken so long to get where we are at the moment," Mr Kelly told The West Australian.
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