The decision by Kalgoorlie-Boulder council to allow Sunday trading between the hours of 9am and 2pm has received a mixed response.
While some retailers and consumers welcomed increased opportunities for shoppers, others are wary of how the move will affect small family businesses.
Councillors shut down a motion at last night’s council meeting for a total deregulation of retail trading hours, instead passing an amended motion for Sunday trading for the five-hour period. A group of concerned small retailers met on Monday before the meeting to express their concerns over the shift that they said would only benefit large retailers such as Coles and Woolworths.
The Kalgoorlie Miner contacted Coles and Woolworths to find out if they would be taking advantage of the new regulations once they were implemented.
A Coles spokeswoman said: “Coles welcomes the extended trading hours and we anticipate that our customers will respond enthusiastically to the greater convenience, flexibility and choice that these hours will provide”.
A Woolworths spokeswoman said: “At Woolworths we welcome the general liberalisation of trading hours as we believe it provides our customers with greater choice and convenience”.
Toyworld owner Jacob Altes said he already had the option to open on Sundays but did not do so because it was not financially viable. He said the move to allow Sunday trading for the large companies would have a negative financial impact on his small business, because he would not be able to compete with their sales.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Simone de Been said while the total deregulation of trading hours was opposed by retailers, the move for limited Sunday trading was inevitable.
While she said the trading hours were optional for businesses, large retailers such as Coles and Woolworths had to open for Sunday trading to work, to pull people into the town centre and generate crowds. She said now it would be up to consumers to support local businesses on a Sunday by getting out and hopefully spending money in town.
Mrs de Been said the KBCCI would work with the council to provide entertainment and activity opportunities in the Burt and Hannan Street CBDs to encourage residents to get out on Sundays.