Sunday trading decision 'should be up to shops', says Retail Strategy Group

RETAILERS should have the freedom and option to trade on a Sunday, the chairman behind a new strategy into the sector has said.

RETAILERS should have the freedom and option to trade on a Sunday, the chairman behind a new strategy into the sector has said.

The Guernsey Retail Strategy Group has put forward proposals to rejuvenate the industry, including the controversial issue of Sunday trading.

The report said that while ‘a majority’ of shoppers and retailers were keen to retain the law broadly as it was now, the group felt the decision should lie with businesses.

‘In the long-term we think if people want to open on a Sunday, they should be able to open – free of restrictions,’ group chairman Tony Rowbotham said.

‘It doesn’t mean retailers are forced to open, it means they have the right to open.

‘We are aware there is a mixture of feelings in the island and some retailers are not supportive of the idea, but I think Sunday trading should be purely up to the discretion of the retailers.’

Comments for: "Sunday trading decision 'should be up to shops', says Retail Strategy Group"

Just Sayin'

And now the much debated issue of Sunday Trading *sigh* same old same old.

I actually think this story is a great idea. Let the retailers and shoppers decide themselves. If you want to open, open. If you don't then don't.

What we'll most likely see is the bigger chains opening 7 days a week and the smaller retailers staying closed, perhaps only opening on a Sunday for cruise ships/Christmas shopping etc, which is fine.

Why has it taken so long to do this?

Nick Le P

Do you really think the small trader is going to stay closed? They will have to open to remain in business.

There is not enough trade to justify Sunday opening, prices will rise and/or shops will shut on other days. Guernsey's economy is too small for any other outcome.


Correct, this is commercial suicide. They would do better to reduce their opening hours, cut their overheads and compete on price. Mostly they are just plain greedy, grabbing the 20% VAT and charging us UK un-discounted prices. It would take a lot more than being open 24/7 before I get ripped off in town.

R. Williams

Another inane comment by one who obviously has never run a retail business and probably never worked in one.

Oh Dear

R. Williams, that post is basically Beanjar in a nut shell. Ill informed and highly opionated despite that fact. Just watch, at some point on this thread, he'll pass the blame on to non-locals for all that is wrong with Sunday trading.


OD, I resent you bringing nationality into this discussion in an attempt to suggest I'm a racist/bigot/xenophobe or whatever you feel like today. I never mentioned the nationality of shopworkers at all but, since you did, who the hell do you think will end up doing Guernsey's dirtywork - as usual? Not you, thats for sure.

Oh Dear

Beanjar, you normally bring nationality into every debate. I was merely pointing out that you had missed one of your usual clichés.

I'm not sure exactly what you meant by "doing Guernseys dirty work". I don't really understand how it's my job to sort it out. I'm not a member of the states and I don't work in retail. That pretty much rules me out as someone who can do whatever dirty work you're grumbling about. Were you basically admitting that you think this all comes about because of the English?


I agree 100%. Sunday trading laws at the moment are outdated and no longer suitable for a modern lifestyle. It wasn't too long ago that you couldn't buy petrol on a Sunday and I'm glad to see people are finally making a step further in the right direction. Being able to do some shopping and run some errands on a Sunday would be beneficial.


Yes and now garages open on Sunday ......only they are no longer "garages/petrol stations" are they!!! ......... they have turned themselves into mini markets that have all but wiped out the local man trying to make a living from his corner shop business...... so yes lets allow all the greedy big boys to open for a 7th day and wipe out what is left of the smaller outlets and those who have had their weekly trade trashed by the UK stores treading on their toes and now rely on Sunday trade to earn a living.

I find it incredible that their are selfish gits out there who want high street stores to open just so THEY can buy a pair of jeans etc on a Sunday!!! What is WITH you people????? ....Go a spend time with your Family and let Shop staff do the same.

Hospitality and essential sectors are expected to operate on Sundays for obvious reasons but it is totally not nesscessary to open retail stores on Sunday in Guernsey.

There are special licences available to open for cruise ships etc already so there is no excuse for companies to say they are losing out on trading opportunities when the cruise ships are over. Opening for those occasions on a licence should be enough. Don't allow them to open otherwise but give the smaller business a chance to survive!

Oh Dear

Sapphire, a lot of people work from Monday to Saturday, when do you propose that they go into town and pump some much needed money into our high street?


Another specious argument, OD.

Oh Dear

Wow, your debating skills are really coming into fruition now Beanjar.

Tell me then, what hours do most people work on this island? I can tell you right now, I work from Monday to Saturday and so do a lot of my friends and family. The majority of my forty or so colleagues also work those hours. Before calling me up on something it would be rather wise if you could come up with a counter argument.


OD, my b.s. detector has just gone haywire, is it something you said?


Don't know where this "Majority" that are keen to keep the Sunday trading laws are? Everyone I've spoken to about it have agreed its a ridiculous outdated law.

But they're right, it should be down to the traders themselves to decide if they want to open on a Sunday or not, give them the freedom to choose.


Funny that because In my job I deal with locals and tourists alike and they mainly praise the fact that there is a nice relaxed feel to Sundays here and we should not lose that piece of Guernsey life. A lot of families have said that bringing Sunday opening to the UK has brought nothing but increased stress levels and virtually knocked out a traditional "family day", (especially at Christmas time).

If you want a UK lifestyle ....You know where the boat/Plane is .... You are living on an Island so you should be prepared for its advantages and dis-advantages. If you don't like our local ways/traditions then leave.

It's only those who stand to make a financial gain who would have you believe Sunday trading is a good thing. Do you think the money that they may make is going to benefit the Guernsey economy? Of Course it's not ... it goes into their English/overseas pots so opening will not benefit the people of Guernsey in the slightest.

Why are people so Hell bent on ruining our Island and trying to ruin it's laid back character and charm. That's what people come here for ...not to shop ... not any more ... why would they? The high street is no different to the UK these days, the prices are the same too because UK stores don't discount the cost of Vat, so why on earth is it a good idea to open the floodgates???

Oh Dear

Such a classic Guern view. If you don't like it then leave. Yes because everyone must have the same point of view. Life needs to be boring and full of ignorant fools who believe that they know better than everyone else.


Have always been against Sunday trading, but really starting to think that perhaps we should open this up.

Terry Langlois

whose interest is this proposal designed to serve?

the shoppers or the retailers?

I can understand why shoppers want Sunday trading, as they have nothing to lose. Shoppers have a genuine choice as to whether to shop or not.

But I can understand why retailers would NOT want Sunday trading. It is all very well saying that shops can choose, but that choice is an illusion. If one electronics store opens on a Sunday, they will all have to open on a Sunday, otherwise those that keep closed will lose custom that they already have.

The commercial reality is that if we permit Sunday trading, most shops will need to open on a Sunday just to maintain their current position.

Opening on a Sunday involves greater cost - more staff to cover extra shifts, and probably needing more senior staff as well unless the managers are expected to work 7 days. Will that cost be offset by greater sales? In many cases, probably not.

No-one really knows what the financial consequences of this would be. The only question that matters is not whether shoppers want it, but whether it will help the local retailers to survive. For this reason, I would hope that the wishes of the retailers are given primary consideration before deciding to take any action.

Otherwise, we risk driving some of the existing retailers out of business (and in particular, the local independents who can least afford extra cost, but who provide a unique character for Town).

It would be foolish to take any action which causes shopkeepers to incur more costs, unless the economic case for Sunday trading has been thoroughly examined and proven.


Change the record Terry. Individual retailers know their businesses far better than you do so we must give them the freedom to decide whether it is in their economic interest to open or close on a Sunday. As wonky donkey would say - simple as that.

Terry Langlois

I could equally well ask you to change the record - that is the thing with differing opinions: you and I disagree. But yet again, you avoid addressing the substantive objections to your view, you just try to tell someone with an opposing view to keep quiet.

Your idea of individual choice for retailers is an illusion as I have explained above. It is good to see that there are plenty of other posters on here who are of the same opinion.

Yes, retailers do know their business, and according to the above, the majority are against Sunday trading. The calls for Sunday trading come from shoppers who want the freedom to shop. But what freedom will they have if their favourite shops have closed due to the added cost of needing to be open every day to ensure that they are open when their competitors are?



You are correct on this one.

Martino is a clown.


You also have to think that a lot of the "shoppers" will become the "Staff" if shops open. Bang would go my family day.

I'm sure the owners do know their business but it's the workers who will lose out in some cases. The owners of huge UK retailers are not going to be working themselves are they ....they will be relying on their staff to cover the extra hours. They won't employ extra they will put more hours and stress on the ones who are already working for them and without extra pay.

I enjoy my job but i work hard enough and don't want to Work Sundays, therefore I will be out of a job because they will simply state they can not offer me the hours without sunday work and would go on to employ a non local who is happy to work all the hours under the sun ....and moon! (Nothing the law can do about that it would seem which is wrong really).

Oh Dear

Sapphire, you're filling all the criteria for clichéd poster of the year.

You've managed to bring non-locals into the debate. Darn those nasty people who aren't afraid of hard graft. They're so annoying, working every waking hour and pumping lots of taxes into our economy whilst the true Guerns complain of back ache and sit in bed all day.


You are starting to get on my nerves a little, Terence. Do you do much else in life besides blogging and having an opinion on everything?

You and PLP should meet up for a beer if you can both drag yourselves from your keyboards for a couple of hours. If you suffer from anxiety detachment issues then I could suggest a place with wifi and take an iPad with.

I'm sure there will be a name for prolific obsessive militant bloggers soon enough.

Terry Langlois

if you get annoyed by people posting their opinions, I suggest that an internet forum is not the right place for you!

but I am pleased that you group me together with PLP, as he is one of the more rational, measured and considered posters on here.



How come i didnt make your shortlist ?

Terry Langlois

purely an oversight PB, purely an oversight. ;-)



Thats fine then we all have the occasional oversight

Have a pleasant weekend.


Justin of all the posts TL and PLP have posted yours has by far contributed far less than any of theirs and yours got on my nerves after the first sentence.

If their posts bother you that much why not just use the same approach we all have towards "another Guernsey shambles" PB Falla and ignore them :-)

Terry Langlois

thank you, sir. ;-)


I'd prefer to see shops open from say 11:00 - 19:00 rather than the standard 09:00-17:00 and keep them closed on Sundays, unless there's a particular reason - i.e. cruise ships.

John West

I would be surprised if the majority of shop owners would want to see shops open on a Sunday as many are just about keeping afloat as it is. They will have to be spreading the same customers (ok, perhaps a few % more) over 7 days rather than 6 for starters.

More overheads such as heating/lighting, wages etc so if they don't sell more to cover these costs then prices will have to go up! But people forget that so quickly and will demand Sundays be open to all! How many feel that Guernsey has been losing what it once was? Well it will be another nail in that coffin.

I would bet a good deal of those traders that are lobbying for Sunday trading to go ahead are food retailers that have the burden of food sat perishing 1 day a week and the larger businesses in town.

It is going to be another waste of time when the States have far better things to discuss, plus they have already voted on this, yet the same people want to bring it in again to discuss but will moan that the States never make any decisions.

To suggest that Sunday trading will solve (or go a good way to solving) towns retail slump are sadly mistaken. Prices are still going to be high in most places, service will remain the same (sadly very poor in some shops) and putting it simply it is much easier to use your computer or tablet to order what you want at the click of a button – opening on the first day of the week won’t change that.

Yes, I am against Sunday trading (!) and I personally don’t think that voted for/against topics should be put before the States assembly again this term.

Island Wide Voting

John West

I believe that no actual decision was made during the last heated States debate on Sunday Trading when it was kicked into the long grass after Kevin promised to produce a report on the subject before the 2016 election

I suppose the larger stores like Creaseys would lose out because they would need extra staff to cover Sundays but the small one man band type boutiques would only need one person to watch the shop

R. Williams

You expect the small one man business to open on Sunday but don't say when he/she is supposed to have any time off for rest and relaxation in their private life.

Why should it always be suggested that retailers should open? Why not state's offices, lawyers, accountants, dentists, doctors etc? Them opening on a Sunday, or even a Saturday, would be more useful to those who already have to work Monday to Saturday.

Where is the extra turnover to come from to cover the extra costs?

When would people in retail get a day to be with their family? Would you expect them to take their children to work with them or will the schools be open?

St. Peter port would end up like St. Malo. A lot of shops closed on Saturday afternoons, Sunday afternoons and Mondays as well.

The larger shops with plenty of staff would survive and the smaller shops will gradually go out of business. The exact opposite of what is required if Guernsey is to retain its uniqueness.

Island Wide Voting

R Williams

I think you will find that it is not against the law for State’s offices, lawyers, accountants, dentists, doctors etc to open on a Sunday if they so choose

I believe it is also permissible for plumbers,carpenters,driving schools,decorators,aerial installers,architects,boat hauliers and a plethora of other traders alphabetically listed in yellow pages to carry out their lawful trade on a Sunday if they so choose

However ,in Guernsey ( and possibly North Korea),in the 21st century,it is against the law ( against the law!!!)on pain of a large fine or imprisonment to open a shop on a Sunday without a special licence from those who will be obeyed

The main legislation appears to be a 1973 law,but it may well be a redraft of something from the Victorian era

Election Issues


I have just spent some time wading through this has it got so complicated?

It's 2013. Freedom of choice.

Conviction, Fines, aiding and abetting, Regulations, Rules....

Shops may open on a Sunday when a cruise ship is here..but not open on a Sunday for local residents at any other time. Why?

Plant and garden centres can sell only certain items and other items which cannot be sold on a Sunday are displayed but are taped off! Why? This makes Guernsey look ridiculous to visitors doesn't it?

Election Issues

R. Williams

What's wrong with St Peter Port being like St Malo or any other French sea side resort.

During the summer months St Malo is buzzing with yacht crews and tourists...shops are open all day every day with bars,cafes and restaurants.

People are actually buying things in those shops in St Malo....not from the internet!

Terry Langlois

actually, I think that it is the reverse.

Many of the smaller shops have no manager, they are managed by the owner who employs a few sales assistants. If the shop opens on 7 days, that owner will need to work 7 days, or employ a manager. No-one will take a manager's job for one day a week, so the owner is then employing a senior staff member to work 5 or 6 days, just so that the shop can open for one extra day. It does not make good commercial sense.

John West

Absolutely agree - didn't see the logic of the previous point.

Also, on the cruise ship point - gone are the days that Guernsey shops are cheaper (VAT free!! haha) and with the limits imposed by various countries, the value of goods you can bring back in is very limiting (~£350).

When I went on a cruise the only shopping I did was possibly a couple of bits of tourist tat and a beer or two. No way did I start to think that I had to go shopping, in fact at all 8 destinations I avoided central shopping/touristy areas.

The truth is apart from the 'it's my right to choose' argument (which is weak in my mind), the only 'valid' reason for allowing certain shops to open is if they sell perishable goods (i.e. Co-op, Waitrose, M&S and Food Halls). Trouble is if these are allowed to trade then it will put serious strain on the smaller shops of this type that can open (i.e. Food Hall at L'Islet/Cobo/St. Peters).

I can see the only logical option is to keep it as it is as why fix was isn't broken?

Dave Le Huray

At last somebody with a bit of sense.


Keep Sunday special - qwerky is good isn't it?

If some shops open then all the others will feel they have to and we'll end up the same as any other town in the UK. Extra opening days doesn't mean more revenue, its just spread out over 7 days instead of 6. The shops will have extra staff to pay and higher overheads, so in the end we the customer will be paying more.

Leave things as they are, I can see no benefit in Sunday opening.


I wouldn't agree with the notion of the same revenue being spread over 7 days. My circumstances, and those of a few others I know, mean that I do not have ample opportunity to shop during standard shopping hours Monday to Friday, and have little free time most Saturdays. I end up doing a lot of shopping over the internet after work or on a Sunday. If shops were open on Sundays or at least one late night shopping every fortnight then I would definitely use this chance to shop locally. If others can be persuaded to visit the shops on a Sunday before making an online purchase this would mean an increase in takings by our local shops and not merely the same revenue being spread more thinly.

Terry Langlois

yes, there will be some of that upside. But is it enough to off-set the extra costs that retailers will have to bear?

No-one knows, and as far as I am aware, no-one has even attempted to investigate the financial impact of this move.

I am not completely against Sunday trading, but I am against adding to the cost for retailers without being pretty sure that the benefits justify that cost.


Of course it should be up to the retailers to decide - just as it up to the individual to decide if they want to go into those shops or not.


You say it should be up to the retailer to decide whether to open or not and the shopper to decide whether to shop.

What about the staff who will be given no option but to work on a Sunday?


Not sure that a majority of shoppers/potential shoppers want to retain Sunday Trading restrictions?

Eve if many retailers don't want to change their habits.

But it can only be entirely reasonable to allow retailers and shoppers to make their own individual choice.

Surely it is evident the public is adult enough to make up its own mind how it wishes to use Sundays, and when wishes to trade, Those who wish for a quiet day can stay at home, in the garden, or stroll on the cliffs and beaches.

When it rains they can of course go to a restaurant after filling up at the garage.


Here we go again...

I honestly don't know one person who wants to keep the sunday trading laws. This topic comes up every six months or so and then gets voted down once again...for gods sake let the shops decide!!! It would make everyones lives easier and would stop the ridiculous event of cruise ships passengers coming to town on a Sunday, window shopping and going back to their liner without having done anything in the island! No doubt when they get home they are asked how the trip was and I wonder what their opinion of Guernsey would be!!



You have obviously never owned a shop.


According to figures in today's Mail, spending per head is down on three years ago. How will it help shops to survive when their costs will inevitably increase with Sunday trading? It is not really a matter of choice, shops will generally open if their competitors do. Similarly, even though I am against Sunday trading I will probably mooch round the shops on a rainy Sunday like most people. Will we all spend more to cover these increased costs?, of course not.

Oh Dear

Spending per head is down, not because of Sunday trading but because of um... oh what's it called. There's been some mention of yeah, recession. This partly why online shopping has increased so much, it's considerably cheaper than any high street shop.

I guessed you'd read the Mail. It does explain where your blinkered view of the world comes from.


OK, Brain of Britain, whatever newspapers I read the facts are the same. If retail sales are falling does that make this a good time to increase costs?

Clue: Two letter beginning 'N'

Oh Dear

No it makes it a good time to allow greater access to the things you sell. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

I and a lot of other people order things from the internet because during a normal working week the only day we get to do shopping is on a Sunday. I would be more than willing to purchase more from town if there was greater accessibility to the goods. At the moment I can only go in if I have time off work.


I am for Sunday trading laws. It separates us from the UK.

It is part of the Guernsey way, if people don't like the way this Islands Laws are, I suggest they go home. Simple as that.


Here's some news for you wonky donkey. The majority of Guernsey people, Guernsey born and bred, are fed up with these crazy Sunday trading laws and want them done away with. Which home should they go to?

Nick Le P

I don't think anyone knows which majority you are talking about.


Martino: When did you do your survey and how big was the survey?

Nick Le P

Note to self, don't engage Martino in a discussion about surveys!

I believe it was a few hundred and even the survey company acknowledged to me that it was not representative!

I doubt Martino will accept that though.



Poor Nick has never grasped how surveys work. He simply does not understand the science of them. Let's have a referendum on this one. I know what result my money's on.

R. Williams

Martino: reading the article and the responses in 2011, it seems that you only accept surveys that agree with you, any others being described as unscientific.

Time for you to do a bit of deep thinking on the subject. Sunday opening is not the answer to all your dreams. I suggest that you try to develop interests other than shopping which I think you will eventually find more rewarding. There is more to life than constant consumerism. Take some time out to be at peace with your world and your thoughts; (as an atheist, I am not suggesting or promoting religion in any shape or form).


I fail to understand what on earth you are talking about R Williams, Every test of public opinion on this issue, scientific or not, has indicated a majority oppose the Sunday trading laws. Please indicate to me one single poll or survey that says otherwise.

As for my motivations, those who know me will know I am not a big consumer, quite the opposite in fact, but what I do not like to see is people's freedom to trade curtailed by irrational, antiquated and blatantly unfair legislation. I feel confident this is a majority view but even if it were not I would still be campaigning for fairness and a level playing field.


This particular survey was objective - I think the point was that by just asking the question to colleagues at work or customers at your market stall whether they agreed with Sunday trading or not, was not an objective way of surveying opinion.

Nick Le P

As I suspected Martino will not accept that when I contacted Island Analysis they acknowledged that the survey was not representative.

I did this at Martino's suggestion as in his/her view I needed help to understand surveys v polls and what the results mean. I seem to remember that someone who worked for Mori or Gallup backed my understanding too.



What did the chaps at Mori / Gallup say as my understanding was that the survey sample was reasonable for the size of the population?

Still a survey means nothing compared to the number of signatures on a petition....


Another martino shambles.

Oh Dear

The majority of people I've spoken to on this matter agree that these laws are out of date. We need to bring this island into modern times.

Bad Donkey, I too am a local. So am I expected to um... leave now? My views are different to your so I should get off your rock that so clearly belongs to you, Beanjar and Sappire. The Daily Mail brigade outsmarting the rest of us with their exceptional arguments. If you disagree please leave, genius argument. Wins everytime.


OD, I would like you to 'get off my rock' as it happens. Not because of your views on Sunday trading which I find selfish, short-sighted and illogical. But because you set out to be tiresome, irrelevant and offensive most of the time. Believe it or not, it is quite possible to have differing opinions without constantly having snide digs at other posters.

Oh Dear

Yes, the get off my rock comment is never snide is it?

You are a hypocrite.

"But because you set out to be tiresome, irrelevant and offensive most of the time."

This is your style of "debate" in a nutshell. Read through your comments and see how many times you're ignorant and offensive. You seem to resent being called a bigot, it's very descriptive of your views. Virtually every debate I've ever seen you participate in has an air of hatred towards other nationalities that happen to be contributing to our island.

You're stuck in the past. You're stuck in the times when this island was white. We're now a multi-cultural island where every working person counts. Surely that's a good thing. To suggest otherwise I think is rather illogical.

How dare anyone think differently to you though Beanjar. Anyone who doesn't agree with Beanjars views can go away. Productive debate is clearly not your forté if this is your best line.

Dee Sharisse

May as well open everything on Sunday... shops, banks, States offices etc. In fact, why not go all the way and have everything open 24/7. The 'special' Guernsey way of life has gone forever, so might as well knuckle down to the urban UK lifestyle.


I don't really care whether shops open on Sunday or not. It really won't affect me either way but......

Can we please, please get of this cruise ship thing.

People who go on cruises are not interested in shopping. These folks want to see local attractions open they want to see excursions organised. Yes they may want to see souvineer shops or local trade stores open but does anyone really think these folks want to visit Creasey's for instance.


Well, some of them do go in there. Mainly the ones who are underwhelmed by the excursions on offer or the price of them. Creasy's used to give a discounts to cruise passengers which rankled with me, aren't our fabulous 'VAT free' prices good enough? Ha, big joke!!


Absolute rot - have you ever been in a cruise Kevin?

Based on my experience a lot of people get off the boat to have a browse around shops as the excursions are a rip off.


Sunday opening versus Cruise liner visits?

Discourage liners stopping sunday visits.It is only boosting up the tourist statistics of visitors to the island but little effect to the economy.

Its a boost to town traders during business hours and tourist attractions Mondays to Saturdays

Would Sunday opening change peoples minds about online shopping?.


Didnt I hear Boley Smilie saying that the amount of parcels has gone up this year because of the increase in internet shopping?

We have been here before...people saying that shoppers only have a finite amount of cash so they wont spend more if the shops are open 7 days a week rather than 6. Well hello shop owners, more of it is going out of the Island via the net, so if you want to get your hands on some of that money, you need to re-think your business, and that should include your opening times! Now you dont have to open sundays, you could do late nights, no need for a law change, but hey, you only want to do that at christmas! Why is that? Oh but what you dont get is that because you werent open when I needed you in the summer, I went to the internet and found what I needed, so I will do the same now!


I remember not to long ago people saying,its no good for bars to open on a sunday


Thanks for bringing that up PB. A rare useful comment from you for once.

You are quite right that people did say not too ago that it was no good for bars to open on a Sunday. These doom and gloom mongers fit your sort of profile. They said it would be the end of Sundays as we know them and the end of the world as we know it. Their predictions were proved to be utter nonsense because when the bars were allowed to open and publicans were given freedom of choice nothing of the sort happened. In fact the island became a better place. Exactly the same will happen when the Sunday trading restrictions are done away with. The changes will be welcomed by many, economic activity will pick up and the doomsayers like you and Terry and Nick Le P will be proved utterly wrong once again.

Nick Le P

There is a key difference here in that this is a different sector to retail.

People may well pop in for that extra pint on or a bite to eat on a Sunday. What they won't do is buy a telly on Sunday and another on Monday, or a suit on Friday and pop out for another one after Sunday lunch.

You want to be like the UK but high streets are going to the wall here and only the big boys are surviving, I am not sure why Guernsey will be any different?

Some argue that trade is lost due to internet shopping. People buy on line mainly because of price and even if Sunday trading does not increase prices, it certainly won't reduce them.

I see it as realistic rather than doomsaying.

TErry Langlois

Martino - pubs are not the same as shops. People do not have a drink on a Sunday afternoon instead of buying that same drink on a Monday lunchtime. There are plenty of good reasons why pubs opening on a Sunday allows people to socialise more and therefore spend more money. The same applies to petrol stations which sell food when all other food shops are closed.

The same reasoning does not apply to shopping in general, as Nick Le P says.

Yet again, you are failing to engage with the issues at the heart of the debate, and wave aside the legitimate concerns raised by many. Thankfully, those in power are not as cavalier or reckless as you.


This is what has happened in the UK since Sunday opening was introduced.

Supermarkets feel obliged to open as they may lose sales to competition on Sundays.

Local employees are lent on to work Sundays and give up life with their families.

When the supermarkets recruited in the future, part of the conditions of employment are that employees must be willing to work shift work including Sunday work.

The effect this has had is that the local women within families will not abandon their children on Sundays and end up not applying for these jobs and end up claiming benefits instead of working.

These jobs are then taken by lowly paid eu nationals such as Latvian and polish. These employees spend as little as possible in the local economy and send most of their earnings back overseas.

In reality the supermarkets actually only sell what they did in 6 days before so lose money, the locals who would previously have worked for the supermarkets are now a drain on the benefit system and have little money to spend locally and the foreign workers now in these jobs work for a limited time so avoid paying income tax and send most of what they have earned overseas out of the local economy.

It seems to me to be a lose, lose, lose situation which has already happened in areas of England and it seems some people are keen to copy.

Maybe to subsidise the losses and hardships which occur by introducing Sunday Trading they should introduce a Sunday GST tax of 35% added to all sales on Sundays, to make up for losses to the economy.


Excellent post, poppy. The long and short of it is town shops are losing business largely because they are too expensive. Longer opening hours can only increase prices further.


Where is your evidence for your statements Poppy? I could easily say that the shops sold more on sundays then they did on Mondays, and most employ teenagers as they like to have the extra wages to go with their Saturday work.



I used to live in the UK and know people still living there now who have seen these jobs disappear to foreign nationals from underneath their feet who will happily work Sundays and night shifts much to the detriment of the local economy's.


Poppy makes a valid point. Let's say one of our 400+ workdodgers gets interviewed for a job in retail with a Sunday rota. What's the betting they all turn out to be devout Christians all of a sudden? Voila, one more foreigner here on license who will need housing, healthcare etc and send all their earnings back home.

Oh Dear

Don't blame the foreign person. Blame those who are lazy.

Simon V

Why can't I buy a car or a motorbike on a Sunday in Guernsey ? Does the Island get invaded by marauding Chinese bandits if I do perhaps !

Earlier this year we were due to exhibit weddings at St James for the Wedding Fare, but I was not allowed to exhibit as St James did not have an appropriate license.the show was cancelled

I quite often need to do some DIY on a Sunday and might need fixings or light bulbs,plumbing fittings etc what would happen if B&Q were allowed to open I wonder ?

As for Tourists if we look at whose in Guernseys competitive set Jersey,isle of Wight,Scily Isles and the isle of Mann I'm pretty sure they are open for business in the season on a Sunday and close on Sundays out of season.

St Peter Port is one of the Islands best attractions and next year I'm told we will have twice as many cruise liners we enjoyed this year. Let's get the product right folks,at least visitors can enjoy a drink on a Sunday without food and can top up their cars with petrol too !


Goodness, some of you folks are having trouble thinking this through! The argument is not that people will not visit shops which open on Sundays. The point is that however many days/hours the shops are open people only buy the same amount of stuff. That is what has happened elsewhere and the same would apply here. Which item is it that you have been waiting to buy but can only do so on a Sunday? Cruise passengers are really not that big a factor but the 'pro Sundays' always mention them. Overall they don't spend much and who can blame them when everything costs the same or less in the UK.

Simon V

Dear Beanjar

I think you are wrong an have just witnessed at first hand a magnificent trip to Herm for some Christmas shopping. A lot of people don't have the time to sop Mon till Saturday as they are working.I saw Fathers with their children enjoying the Herm experience,the pleasure of the outing. Lots of families and lots of friends to all enjoying a lunch,some drinks and a bit of shopping. Times are changing and I am sure we need to change with them


Is this a joke? HERM for christmas shopping? What has everybody got this year - buckets & spades?

Oh Dear

Beanjar, have you ever been to Herm?

Cruise passengers don't spend much over here because the shops are normally closed. When the shops are open they have been known to spend thousands on jewellery and in computer shops. Don't act like you know the facts all the time. Especially when you so clearly don't.

Terry Langlois

Oh Dear, the shops can open on Sundays for cruise ships as they can get special permits. However, most shop keepers don't bother because the passengers rarely spend enough to make it worthwhile. I know several shopkeepers in Town who bemoan the fact that cruise passengers just kick the tyres.

Might have something to do with the prices, of course!

Simon V

Terry L

My friend runs a gift shop,he has operated in three different Parishes,each one with it's own different take on what constitutes a gift shop and should he be allowed to open. The latest douzaine has graciously conceded after nine months and three applications ,that he may be permitted to open on a Sunday.

Whoever said progress was a slow process must have had Guernsey in mind. This is an island wide problem not an automatic permit as your post suggests.


One of the problems, Mr Rowbotham, are commercial letting companies like yours, run by people who haven't got a clue about what Guernsey is all about or what makes it tick, and don't particularly care, as long as they get their king's ransom in rent to pay their fat bonuses.

How on earth this individual got into this position is beyond me, though why is pretty obvious, and now we can all sit back and listen to his pearls of wisdom that will be about as well thought out and valid as St Kev's musings about the future of our economy.

Sunday trading, ay...? Whoah. Never heard that one before.

Guarantee 'more affordable rents' won't be on your list of good ideas, ay, Tony....?


I would prefer to keep Sunday a special day with the family, but I dont own a retail shop which is struggling to survive.

Were very lucky.

Someone recently asked me about buying online and how it effects the Guernsey economy.

I went in to a local retailer and was told it would take 6 weeks for the order to arrive.

I then phoned John Lewis and had the ordered deliverd in five days, and claimed the VAT back. Not always so easy to support the local retailer.

Sara Thompson

My prediction is that all shops will be allowed to open on a Sunday long before Deputy DJ Kev's Project Proteus limps into the stratosphere.

It's only a matter of time before there's a legal challenge by Waitrose to the ridiculous size rule and by the garden centres to the equally ridiculous law that they can sell some things six days a week, but not on a Sunday.

They are open anyway, how does that affect staff?

The Questionner

I used to be for opening up Sunday trading, but now am against it. Why?

I am not a religious person, but I do believe that Sunday is the one day that most people can count on having off together, save those who save lives and care for the sick and elderly for a living.

In our household it would mean that we would never have the same day off together each week. Such a policy would, as such have harmful societal implications. It would put relationships under pressure and therefore be harmful to the emotional and mental wellbeing of some islanders.

I believe that Sunday trading is being backed by certainly big wealthy retailers, who have faced recent dramatic downturns in their profits. This is not due to not trading on a Sunday, rather the following:

1. The internet provides us with cheaper alternatives for the same quality products. For example, Amazon deducts the VAT and many electrical and other goods are much cheaper than you would find locally. Local businesses blame rising freight costs, especially when it comes to food for retaining the UK price (i.e. with VAT).

2. Marks and Spencers and other local food outlets are really feeling the heat from competition such as Tesco lines being introduced by retailers like Alliance, which are cheaper for the same, if not better quality.

3. Accessibility - the High Street is not as accessible as out of Town shopping, and the internet. Many local retailers, especially the larger ones would benefit from having online shopping for groceries and other products, with catalogues for locals to browse through from the comfort of their own home.

You can guarantee that the current proposals for a "few" Sundays to be used for Sunday trading will be the thin end of the wedge, and soon become the norm. This will have an adverse affect on many working couples and families, who will not be able to spend that one day off together a week enjoying Guernsey for what it has to offer, and quality time.

Election Issues

The Questionner

I agree that working couples and families should spend quality time together after a working week.

However..whether a retailer decides to open on a Sunday must be a matter of choice surely?

Retailers do not have to open their shops if they don't want to.

In fact shop workers don't have to work on a Sunday if they don't want to either.

Under the Employment Protection (Sunday Shop Working)(Guernsey)Law 2001, shop workers have the right:

1/not to be dismissed

2/not to be selected for redundancy

3/not to suffer any other detriment for refusing, or proposing to refuse, to do work in or about a shop on a Sunday.

It is a matter of personal choice.There may be many people who would like to work on a Sunday just to earn some more money.

If shops in St Peter Port are having to compete against internet shopping, then their prices have to be more competitive and they need to be open more so more people can shop.

If shops were allowed to be open the run up to Christmas, I feel sure that they would have sold much more. People are going to London, Jersey or other towns to do their Christmas shopping so the town shops are losing out again. Jersey is festively geared up to attracting people into St Helier... so many people from Guernsey, France and UK spend their money in St Helier shops, bars, restaurants and hotels.

At the moment St Peter Port is not doing any of this at all.... either at Christmas or during the summer months... so is losing out on local trade, tourist trade and also to the internet trade.


The law may protect current employees to some extent but as I said earlier, all that will happen is that as new employees are recruited part of their new terms and conditions will be that they have to be prepared to work shift work including Sundays.

As many local mums would not want to sacrifice their time with their children and families they will no longer apply for jobs in the supermarkets. The jobs will go to foreign workers who will send their earning overseas and out of the economy and avoid paying local income tax into the economy due to their length of stay in the island. These unemployed mothers will also undoubtedly claim benefits then.

And as I commented earlier the only way I see to compensate the loss unto the economy would be to introduce a Sunday Only GST of 35% if this went ahead.

This has happened already in England.


I didn't mean the GST bit but I meant bout the foreigners taking the jobs

Election Issues

The Employment Protection(Sunday Shop Working) (Gsy) Law 2001

Shop workers who, after the date the Law came into force (1 July 2002) entered into an employment contract in which they work Sundays or can be required to do so, for example new recruits who initially agreed to do Sunday work, but no longer wish to to do.

Opt Out

Shop workers who want to opt out of Sunday working must give their employer a signed and dated written notice saying that they object to Sunday working. They do not have to give any reason. They must serve a 3 month notice period...but these workers can not be dismissed or subjected to any other detriment by their employer, during the 3 month notice period, for giving the"opting out notice".

Once the 3 month notice period has ended, the worker has the right not to do Sunday shop work, because he/she is protected as an 'opted out' shop worker.

Any shop worker who 'opts in' to Sunday working has the right to 'opt out' again at any time, subject to giving the 'opting out notice' and the 3 months' notice.

A 'protected' or an 'opted out' shop worker has the right not to be dismissed or subjected to detriment on an account of either their refusal, or their proposal to refuse to work Sundays, or for giving or proposing to give their employer an 'opting out' notice.

Oh Dear

They have to pay income tax. It's done through the employer. If they're not paying then the employer is also breaking the law.

This blame the foreigners thing has got to stop.

Simon V


There could be gainful employment created for locals created on a Sunday only basis.this could suit many as a part time top up job,students or locals looking to boost their income.

All guest workers pay tax and oxidants and thus contribute to the islands income.


Simon V, why on earth would we want to create extra jobs on an island where we already have to import thousands of workers from overseas? Forget about the 400+ workdodgers, any new jobs would not be to their liking or might reduce their benefits, heaven forbid.

Simon V

Pocket money for the kids eh Beanie old boy ?

So they can save up and have some spending money to pay for whatever they would like.

It might even generate some money for the Government too,it's a win win situation.