Saturday, December 31, 2011

Retail regulation archaic

The Post reports that Cairns Central shopping centre is backing the deregulation of shopping hours in Queensland. 
Cairns' largest shopping mall has backed the campaign and said current regulations and trading hours were "out of touch" with southern states.
Cairns Central marketing manager Suzy Pickard said it supported any regulatory change to make shopping more convenient for customers such as extended trading hours.
"The current regulations and hours in place do seem out of touch with other states, and do appear to disadvantage the productivity of Queensland retailers and limit the flexibility of when Queenslanders can shop," Ms Pickard said.
The Australian National Retailers Association, which represents businesses turning over at least $100 million annually, wants deregulated trading hours, as recommended by a Federal Government report.
The Productivity Commission has recommended deregulation of shopping hours and specifically pointed a finger at Queensland. Having shopping hours regulated by the QIRC is somewhat archaic. Political support for retail deregulation prior to the forthcoming election would be a (pleasant) surprise. Queensland Economy Watch has previously posted on the PC report and regulated shopping hours.

We probably don't notice the restrictions as much in Cairns where more liberal trading hours are permited for tourism. However, the situation earlier in 2011 where Easter and public holidays closely coincided was diabolical. The Sheridan St IGA which traded throughout the period in the city was stripped of many products, including fresh produce such as meat, with visitors almost having to fight over the last available packet of mince or resort to pet food..

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