Since 1994 it’s been legal for shops to open and sell on Sundays, but there are restrictions. This summary of the Act explains our opening hours policy. The main effect is that we are closed Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.
Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994 the limits on shop opening hours are:
- Small shops (under 280 sq m/3,000 sq ft) – no restrictions on opening
Large shops (over 280 sq m/3,000 sq ft) – Monday to Saturday – no restrictions; Sunday – Opening for 6 continual hours only, between 10am and 6pm plus one half hour at the end of the registered hours for your to fnsih shopping.
In addition to regulating opening by large shops on Sunday, the Sunday Trading Act 1994 prohibits large shops from opening on Easter Sunday.
The Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 came into force in 2004. The Act prohibits large shops (over 280 sq m/3,000 sq ft) from opening on Christmas Day.
Large shops in England and Wales are no longer required to give prior written notification to the local authority of their Sunday opening hours or change in these hours.
What goods can be sold on a Sunday?
The Sunday Trading Act 1994 regulates shop opening hours. It does not regulate the sale of particular goods. The 1994 Act removed a number of anomalies which existed under the Sunday trading provisions of the Shops Act 1950, which prohibited the sale of some goods but not other, often similar, goods. Sale of certain goods, such as alcohol, is subject to separate legislation.
What are the rules governing alcohol sales on a Sunday?
Neither the sale of alcohol nor shops whose trade or business consists wholly or mainly of the sale of alcohol are regulated by the Sunday Trading Act 1994. They are regulated by separate legislation under the Licensing Act 2003.
How does Sunday Trading Act affect street markets, car boot sales etc?
The Sunday Trading Act 1994 regulates shop opening hours. It does not regulate street markets or car boot sales. These are subject to separate local planning legislation.
Why are large garden centres not able to open on Easter Sunday?
This was considered by Parliament in 1994 during the passage of the Sunday Trading Bill. An amendment proposing that large garden centres should be exempt from closing on Easter Sunday was defeated on a free vote in both Houses.
We also choose tho close on Boxing Day (or the 26th December) and January 1st.