Deregulation of Trading Hours Essay

15527 Words Nov 8th, 2012 63 Pages
10 Retail trading hours regulation

Key points


Restrictions on shop trading hours have varied objectives, including the opportunity for some small businesses to trade without competition from larger retailers and to reduce the need for retail employees to work outside ‘traditional’ working hours. For consumers, restrictions on trading hours impinge on consumer choice regarding when (and where) to shop, causing inconvenience and congestion costs. For retailers, there are efficiency costs and administration costs in complying with state trading regimes. But the largest costs are reserved for those retailers who are prevented from trading to the extent they would like: they forego trade to other retailers and also to other avenues of
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RETAIL TRADING HOURS REGULATION

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10.1 Why are trading hours regulated?
Legislation regulating retail trading hours has existed in Australia since around the beginning of the 20th Century. The Early Closing Act 1898 came into operation on 1 January 1899 in Western Australia (Kelly 1986). The South Australian Government introduced similarly titled regulation in 1900. The Queensland Government did so in the Factories and Shops Act 1900. Similar legislation was also introduced in the remaining states around this time (Bennett 1981). Restrictions on shop trading hours have varied objectives, including the opportunity for some small businesses to trade without competition from larger retailers and to reduce the need for retail employees to work outside ‘traditional’ working hours. This ‘political economy’ view of trading hours restrictions attributes the regulation to special interest lobbying and regulatory capture. Christian religious organisations have also argued for maintaining the sanctity of Sundays as the ‘Lord’s Day’. The regulation of retail trading hours has also been seen as an attempt by governments to coordinate or

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