Constable: Sunday trading will be a boost to high street
THE high street is in a good place and will benefit from increased Sunday trading hours, the St Helier Constable has said.
Figures on Jersey’s empty shop rate have improved slightly over the past 12 months and stands at 1.56% compared to 2.2% this time last year and a current UK average of 10.3%.
And St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said he was delighted a proposition for Sunday trading went through the States earlier this year, which he believes will boost the high street’s offering.
A proposition tabled by Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham to allow shops over 700 square metres to open between 10am and 4pm on Sundays, Good Friday and Liberation Day was approved by States Members in October.
Mr Crowcroft said: ‘I remain very upbeat about the state of the high street and I was very pleased when the opening hours were extended.
‘There are a good range of stores with cafés and restaurants popping up.
‘I have just been away to Australia and visited two towns that had suffered by having the centre ripped out of them, and we don’t have that issue because all the main shops are in the town centre.
‘Guernsey suffers a bit because of the retail on the edge of town, but hopefully with planning laws that won’t happen here.’
He added the extra opening day has brought an increase in shoppers to St Helier and that Sunday trading is key to attracting more French tourists to the Island.
‘On Sundays French tourists come over and the extra hours will help that as they will come over and shop and use cafes.’
Some larger stores criticised the Sunday trading proposals due to increased staffing costs and feared Islanders’ shopping habits would simply be spread over seven days rather than six.
Mr Crowcroft believes it is ideal for people who cannot go out shopping for the other six days of the week.
He added: ‘If people want to go out and get something they haven’t got it is ideal. People do gardening on a Sunday, if you want that missing box of screws then you can go and get it.’
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