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In an age when consumers can shop online 24/7 it is outdated and inappropriate to restrict the days and hours in which a retailer can trade from shop premises other than where it is to protect the health and well-being of retail employees. Therefore, whilst JLL welcomes the government's decision to relax Sunday trading laws, we believe it is misguided to devolve these powers to local government with no central law for a number of reasons.
1. First and foremost, we don't believe that local authorities have the relevant knowledge or skills to make the decision.
2. There is no equitable reason to penalise retailers (or indeed landlords) due to the size, shape or location of their shops.
3. Mixed decisions at a local level will cause havoc with retailers' central decisions on matters such as employment, supply and even the rent they can afford to pay.
4. Finally, any form of restriction on retail trade from shops creates an unfair advantage for "pure play" internet retailers.
Tim Vallance, Head of Retail & Leisure at JLL, comments "Retailers have been struggling to make shops work efficiently for almost a decade due to economic headwinds and the structural changes in the way people shop, most notably with the internet. Whilst trying to show that they recognise the problems faced by retailers, the gesture to devolve Sunday trading powers to a local level shows that they have forgotten that it is the consumer who should be able to decide when and where they shop, not local politicians."
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