Osborne proposes longer trading hours in England and Wales
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has proposed plans to allow longer trading hours on Sundays in England and Wales as part of the budget this year.
The proposal will allow local authorities and mayors to decide how long large stores can stay open on Sundays, by ending the current six-hour limit.
This is anticipated to generate over £200m in additional sales annually in London.
Figures released by New West End Company show that two extra hours of trading on Sundays could result in the creation of around 3,000 jobs.
Osborne said: "Even two decades on from the introduction of the Sunday Trading Act, it is clear that there is still a growing appetite for shopping on a Sunday. There is some evidence that transactions for Sunday shopping are actually growing faster than those for Saturday.
"The rise of online shopping, which people can do round the clock, also means more retailers want to be able to compete by opening for longer at the weekend. But this won't be right for every area, so I want to devolve the power to make this decision to mayors and local authorities."
According to current trading laws, smaller shops are allowed to trade all day, but stores with more than 3,000ft2 retail space are restricted to trade only for six hours.
Earlier in 2012 during the Olympics, the six-hour limit was relaxed for six weeks, a move that increased sales.