Sunday trading not a priority for C&E minister

SUNDAY trading is not a priority for Commerce and Employment despite a newly commissioned report for the department proposing an end to restrictions, minister Kevin Stewart has said.

SUNDAY trading is not a priority for Commerce and Employment despite a newly commissioned report for the department proposing an end to restrictions, minister Kevin Stewart has said.

Deputy Stewart, pictured, attempted to distance himself from the recommendations made by the Guernsey Retail Strategy Group to rejuvenate the industry, which included giving retailers the freedom to trade on Sunday.

The group even suggested a ‘halfway house’ in the form of a short-term trial, but Deputy Stewart described it as ‘déjà vu’ to the failed requete by Deputy Mike Hadley for a year-long trial.

‘They produced a report for the department. There was no political representation on that group,’ he said.

‘I’m up to my eyes with hugely much, much more important stuff.’

Comments for: "Sunday trading not a priority for C&E minister"

Victor Meldrew

Kevin, you can fool some of the people some of the time..

We all know this is a political hot potato, but one that needs to be handled asap. Business generates revenue, and if you guys are to be believed, Guernsey's a tad short of that right now. If you've ever shopped at the supermarkets on a Saturday afternoon, my guess is that you'd agree Sunday trading at the soonest opportunity !


Can you not see that any money shops take on a Sunday is money they don't take on the other six days of the week? Provide evidence that overall spending increases by one single penny due to 24/7 trading. You can't, because it doesn't. Sales won't increase but costs and therefore prices will. Goodbye town shops for ever if you go down this route.


Would they take less on a Sunday than they do on a Tuesday?

If there's no value to opening on a Sunday, why does the entire UK do it?



In theory the answer to your first question is probably no but conversely takings would fall on Tuesday as you have already brought what you need on Sunday. Unless of course you intend to increase the amount you spend.

Victor Meldrew

No, Beanjar, what you say is simply not true, and can be verified as such. Just take a visit to any Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's etc etc on any Sunday of any week. As for town shops, the criteria is the products they sell; I don't know of any shop which only pays rent or rates for 6 day a week trading! As a working bloke, I'd much prefer to shop for my wife's Christmas or birthday present at leisure on a Sunday than struggle through overcrowded shops on a Saturday or special night opening, like Bedlam last Thursday.

As for keeping Guernsey different, that argument is simply a no-brainer.


You are quite wrong. Tesco and Sainsbury have spoken out against Sunday trading in the UK. They do it but only because their competitors do and not because it increases sales - it doesn't. Thats exactly what would happen here. Rents may not be higher but every other cost would increase significantly, notably staffing. Why not be honest and say you don't care if the shops go bust just so long as you can go shopping in nice empty shops a time of your choosing.

John West

Victor, you said "just take a visit to any Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc etc on any Sunday of any week" - we ARE talking town traders here, rejuvenating town, not supermarkets. M&S and Co-op are open in various guises throughout the island so I do not see your point.

I've stated this already on the other Sunday trading thread - the only logical reason to open on a Sunday would be to allow retailers of perishable goods to trade (i.e. supermarkets) but if you do that, everyone will say it isn't fair on other traders. The most simple and best solution is to simply keep it as it is.

It is total nonsense to think that opening on a Sunday will generate more income in the town – people aren’t earning more money are they? Again there is the question of additional overheads such as insurance (yes, opening an extra day will probably bump premiums up), wages, lighting/heating, any trade callouts will demand weekend rates (i.e. electrician or plumber etc) - are people going to want to pay extra for the same goods?

Alan, you mention a 'trial period' - do you seriously think a trial would be withdrawn after a certain time? We're playing with livelihoods and family life here - you may have free time but if you worked in retail would you want to lose your Sundays off?

People aren’t shy about airing their views on how life in Guernsey is changing, "it isn't what it used to be" or "these non-local politicians come in and just want us to be a mini version of the UK" - well where is the difference here?

These pro-Sunday trading arguments are weak at best. So, many shops close on a Sunday, that simply means more time to spend with family, friends, hobbies, catching up with household chores, dare I say it but go to Church?! Oh, and you can still go out and shop at:

- M&S in St. Martins

- Co-op En Route (St, Martin, L’Aumone, Forest, St Andrew)

- Co-op Locale (Royal Terrace, Vazon, Longstore)

- Sandpiper Food Halls (Cobo, St. Peter’s, L’Islet)

I mean when you look at it like that, of course we want more choice, there are only 11 places to shop, plus the smaller convenience shops. I’m surprised we’ve survived this long and haven’t starved..... what utter nonsense.

Any deputies reading this, I implore you, if this comes back once again to be voted on, please do not vote it through.

I’m locally born and bred and I have seen the way of life change far too much in the past 30 years. Change has to stop somewhere, the line needs to be drawn somewhere. This isn’t a case of progress or fairness but the demanding of conformity by a minority. I have many non-local friends that have always told me that they really enjoy the slower pace of life here as they don’t feel like this is just another small UK town but still somewhere unique and worth protecting (my sentiments also).


Beanjar, Sunday is usually the day that I have most free time and it is usually on this day that I order anything I need online. I would welcome the chance of shopping locally on a Sunday or after working hours, a result of which would mean an overall increase of takings by our local shops. Your point perfectly describes the situation we had when making fuel and alcohol available on a Sunday, ie spreading revenue over 7 days, so I don't know why we discriminate against shops which sell items readily available online. I feel it is worth at least a trial period and would be interesting to see whether the investment that shops make in the cost of extra labour would realise some good returns.


Forget trial period, forget choice. If shops are allowed to open, they will. Guernsey's experience will be the same as UK - sales will not increase to cover significant extra costs.

Terry Langlois

"would be interesting to see whether the investment that shops make in the cost of extra labour would realise some good returns"


I am sure that every retailer in Town is heartened by your willingness to experiment with their ability to stay afloat, just to satisfy your "interest".

It is not "interesting" for retailers if it turns out that taking on extra staff makes them go bust. Even a 6 month trial period could be enough to drive some out of business. What would you say to them then? "Oh well, I guess it didn't work, but it was interesting to find out wasn't it??"

R. Williams

But, Alan, if you are working on a Sunday, you won't have time to do your shopping at your leisure. What, don't work in retail, but some nice cushy little office job with Saturdays off and you still need Sundays for shopping?

Don't underestimate things. When it is usual for shops to open, then the banks will have to provide a service, then the pressure will come about other professions and trades to work all through the week and lo and behold! you'll be working on Sundays.

Tony Webber

Guernsey never used to have any Sunday Trading legislation, and in the past then, hardly any shops decided to open, because that was their choice, and they were not restricted by any laws.

The laws which were bought in simply took away freedom of choice and are a completely unnecessary bureaucratic nightmare.

Kevin is wrong on two counts:

Firstly that he is too busy with other issues.

Well, in politics he is surely aware that it is not acceptable to not do things just because you are "busy" with other matters, you are expected to do everything, not just what suits you at the time.

Secondly, this issue will not take up any time at all. It is simply a matter of putting to the States the proposition that all Sunday trading laws are rescinded.

Deputy Brian Russell and I were unsuccessful with this a few years ago, as has been Deputy Mike Hadley with his trial idea.

However, time moves on, more Guernsey people are going off Island to shop on a Sunday, more and more are shopping online on a Sunday, so why do want to damage local shops who do want to open on a Sunday.

Every other type of work can be done on a Sunday, so it is discriminatory against one sector, local retailers, to have restrictions on their Sunday trading.

Other parts of the British Isles have not been adversely affected by lighter Sunday trading laws.

I do not consider this a religious issue because I don't think Jesus ever spoke about interfering in political matters ( render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's ). It is not a matter of having laws to decide on issues of straightforward choice, it is a matter of people as individuals in their own religious conscience deciding how they will live their lives.

We have some Sunday trading already and many Christians are more than prepared to shop on a Sunday. Moslems and Jews also have their own views on a day of rest, but they are not reflected in the law of the land as such.

Whilst we are undoubtedly a Christian community, and whilst I am well aware that many Christians do not want our Sunday trading restrictions removed, I firmly believe that the vast majority of Christians in Guernsey do actually support their removal.

What harm has it done in Alderney ?

I think that at this time of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and contemplating his love and compassion, and in particular his messages in the Sermon on the Mount, and also remembering the tolerance of recently passed away Nelson Mandela, a firm Christian, that we should focus on the many positive aspects of Christianity in the future.

If people want to not shop on a Sunday, that is their right, and it is also up to other's individual consciences as to whether they shop or work no a Sunday. We already have laws in place to ensure no one is forced to work on a Sunday if they do not want to.

I believe Sunday is God's day but that is my personal choice, even though like many I could be that much better.

Nick Le P


I am a Christian but for me this is an economic issue, not a religious one. I cannot see that in Guernsey's micro climate the economics add up.

Its wrong to suggest that retailers have a choice, when that choice is no choice. I know from my own experience of lunchtime opening, once one did they all did and the same will happen with Sunday.

Let's keep Guernsey different. Sunday shopping will not bring in tourists or stop internet shopping so what's the gain? Also, people want a trial but will not agree to a trial closure for 6 months first.

Not really balanced then is it?

Chicken legs

Spot on. Apart from the religion bit.

Nick Le P

So you think it is a religious issue? I am not sure what you meant.

Nick Le P

Oh I think you were replying to Tony Webber not me, sorry.


It lost for a very good reason, People thought it was a rubbish Idea and that it is what sets us apart from the UK.

Guernsey can do well without Sunday Trading, if you move here, you accept Guernsey the way it has been for centuries or go home. simple as that I'm afraid.


just seen the picture kev realy looks like a states fat cat now may be time to save some pennys for your pension and not eat it all

Mail Order

I have no objections to shopping on Sundays, if that's what people want, but I do object to our local high street shops charging me vat inclusive prices and sometimes even more, with the excuse that it's due to freight and that they can't compete with the large mailorder firms in the UK. Whilst that might not have the purchasing power of companies such as Amazon etc, that's no excuse for charging more than UK high street prices. I have just ordered some photo equipment on-line from a small retailer in Kings Heath, near Birmingham. The transaction is without VAT and including £6.90 postage and insurance, I have still saved £39 on a £269.99 item! I really want to support local shops, but I'm not a charity!


Well done for at least checking the local price. I don't usually bother these days, life is too short. So many times the local shops cost at least 30%, 40% or even double. Then half the time they don't have one so you end up waiting for items to be delivered anyway. Why would I want to wait for something to be delivered to the shop (invariably a week upwards) when I can have it sent direct to my home in a couple of days? The shops love bleating about their 'great customer service' but it is just hot air. We don't even have proper consumer rights with stuff we buy locally, its pathetic.


Lets leave God out of it. Its simple economics. Will people buy more 'stuff' if shops open longer? No, of course not. If people need it they buy it. Has anybody ever gone without something just because they couldn't buy it on a Sunday?

brown cow

DJ kev looks very worried . he looks like he needs a holiday poor poor DJ kev




‘I’m up to my eyes with hugely much, much more important stuff.’

Yes we know Kev, we know. I bet Gavin is to.


I Remember when DJ Kev first started on the radio and was ripping apart the states on the breakfast show .Know he is in the states he is just going with the flow like a sheep

St Sampson

Totally agree Lee that's why I voted for him never again, plain to see he has lost his way I wasted my other vote also thanks to Gavin, oh dear we live and learn.


Over the past few weeks I have been astonished with Kevin Stewart. It seems to me he thinks he can control economic markets. I'm sorry but what credible experience does he have to do this with any confidence? The market place has a way of working its self out and unfortunately we are at it's whim somewhat. The market is calling for for flexible shopping to counter the flexibility of the internet, I used to be against Sunday trading, but given the upscale of internet shopping this year, you have to respond now!

Don't even get me started on project Prozac.


Shame on you. Project Proteus encompasses everything which the economy is currently lacking. Kevin Stewart, with his “sleeves rolled up” attitude, will have all the answers once he has traveled far and wide in search of them.

Don't be such a pessimist. Kevin has already identified his own vision for Guernsey. If you dined first class with the man and downed enough taxpayer funded alcohol you'd soon see his visions in the same light he does.

He has identified the fact we are currently rated 138th in the world, in the same class as Greece, Mauritania and Bhutan, for broadband speeds but is still confident we can be world leaders for technology with low footprint, high-revenue industries.



Scratch the head!


And plenty more thinking about that one!

He conveniently misses that crucial bit.

This guy should do a double act with Harry Hill.

Election Issues

'Sunday trading is not a priority for Commerce and Employment'



Surely, it must be considered important to look at commerce and the employment of people in shops who may wish to trade on a Sunday?

Retailers should have the freedom and the option to trade on a Sunday if that is their CHOICE shouldn't they ?

"more important stuff" could mean attracting business from China...all good, if successful.

China is a rising global power but unfortunately has made little progress on human rights abuses.

When a cruise liner arrives outside St Peter Port on a Sunday...retailers have the freedom of choice to open or not for these visitors coming ashore......but why do retailers not have this choice to open on a Sunday for Guernsey people at other times of the year? Isn't this discrimination?

There seems to be a similar view at Public Services Department ..when developing the new Harbours Plan. Apparently it is not "visually acceptable" for the visitors from the cruise liners to see our cars parked in car parks in town. Really? What about the local residents who have to park in the car parks for work, shop or are in town for a meal or drinks? Isn't it time that they were the priority?


Todays Telegraph in case any of you care about the facts:

For those who can't be bothered let me tell you the heading:

Hopes for Sunday trading extension fade as UK retail sales fall

Now I expect those who are desperate to open our shops 7 days a week will say Guernsey is totally different, streets paved with gold, it rains pound notes etc. etc. If you want the shops in town to survive increasing their costs is the last thing they need.


Sorry, not today's but 20 Sept 2012, doesn't change the facts though.


It's crazy to even be debating this. Just leave it to the retailers and customers to decide if they wish to shop on Sundays.

DJ Kevin can then concentrate on what he does best. Enjoying first class away trips at our expense. On his return he could trump up with a few easily Googled facts and simply say the meetings were a great success and, in his opinion, represented excellent value for money.

This man is a genius actually. He was once a ridiculous DJ and considered himself on a number of occasions as being a local celebrity. He is now not only in politics but has also landed a Ministerial role and can spend pretty much whatever he likes without fear of questions being raised.

What's not to like?

He is having the time of his life and I have no doubts he's giving a fair few a good laugh along the way. Just a shame he will quickly start costing us all many millions before we see fit to put the brakes on his comical career.


It must be irritating not to be able to purchase records for the DJs on a sunday with the present sunday laws.This brings back memories searching for:- Bits and Pieces by Dave Clark Five.

Open all hours

If opening on Sundays will not have more people shopping why open Thurs evenings? After all you can shop 6 that argument don't hold water. However the reason is to have freedom of choice for everyone shoppers & shopkeepers alike ..... A CHOICE.

Victor Meldrew



Kevin Stewart looks happy (NOT)


As one of the people who would love to be able to do shopping on Sunday I have a rather unusual idea.

Why don't shops close earlier on one day (for example Tuesday) and then open for half day on Sunday.

BTW Tuesday was just a random day - don't want to offend fans of Tuesday shopping


Why not give the option entirely to the shops themselves???

We are loosing a lot of money in the summer when the cruise liners come in and nothing is open! And when Waitorse were told they could not open on a sunday they were aparently quite astounded that larger shops could not open on a sunday

Just a logical thought really....

Terry Langlois

losing a lot of money? that is a bold claim. Most retailers complain that the cruise ship passengers never spend any money (why would they, when they expect VAT savings but don't find them?). And in any event, shops can apply for permission to open on a Sunday for cruise ships, but few bother as the returns do not make it worthwhile.


As if it matters now; start trading goats and potatoes whenever you can and risk the Wrath of God.


Have some sympathy for Deputy Stewart, how can he put Sunday trading as a priority, or anything else that matters to the people when he has to organise his packing, flights(first class of course), hotels(5 star for sure) and expenses claims for his priority trips around the world on our behalf?

Perhaps The States can help out by dedicating a group of civil servants(ten should do it) to help make sure he gets the best treatment and maximum expenses that he can claim.

Oh, silly me, he already has that facility to use doesn`t he? Well, don`t they all when it comes to wasting our money?


Has anybody bothered to asked shop staff if they want to work on Sundays or would they prefer to have a day off with the family, I know which I would prefer, why should I work just so you can shop.



Have you perhaps thought that you are PAID to work for us?

If nobody turns up to shop then look on the bright side, what a nice easy day you`ll have.

Election Issues


Shop staff do not have to work on a Sunday if they don't want to.

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

1/not to be dismissed

2/not 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.

There may be many shop staff who do not want to work on a Sunday as they wish to be with their families...but there may be many people who would like to work on Sunday to earn more money. Surely it is all a matter of choice?

Terry Langlois

Whilst the rule of law is dear to my own heart, even I would not be so naive to think that the above piece of legislation is of any real use except in the most blatant cases.

Commercial reality counts, and that means that staff will feel obliged to work on a Sunday when asked, or they will be putting their job at risk.

No employee is going to start threatening legal action against an employer if they actually want to get on in their job, or any other job in the island for that matter.

Election Issues

Protection rights for employees under this law..these rights apply irrespective of age, length of service or hours of work. They do not apply to those employed to work only on Sundays.

Why even debate it? Just let the shops open if they want to. Let shop workers work if they want to.

It's 2013 and it should not be up to The States of Guernsey to tell retailers when they can and can't open.

The Internet is massive competition to island shops but this is not closed on a Sunday is it?

After reading the Sunday Trading Ordinance 2002..full of rigid, complex red tape nonsense..... and is all summed up very nicely in what goes on in a certain popular garden centre on a Sunday which is totally ridiculous!

Terry Langlois

Why debate it? well, if you cannot be bothered to read and comprehend the various reasoned arguments set out in these pages, giving reasons why Sunday trading may be a bad thing for the local retail trade, then I cannot be bothered to repeat them for you.

Election Issues

TL @ 11.41

With the greatest of respect, I have "bothered" to read and "comprehend" ALL the various reasoned arguments set out on these pages.

I have also waded through the Sunday Trading Ordinance(Guernsey) 2002 and I have read the Employment Protection rights given to those shop workers who may not want to work on a Sunday.

It is in YOUR opinion that Sunday trading may be a bad thing for the local retail trade there is absolutely no need for you to "bother" to repeat them especially for me is there? I really don't need you to.

You needn't worry too much though because the Minister for Commerce and Employment is far too busy dealing with "stuff" and has no intention of debating this at all... rather than trying to do anything and everything possible to persuade people to shop in the town shops rather than on the internet or Jersey, London or Southampton!