There are more and more rational arguments in favor of liberal trade on holidays. There are two most important reasons for this solution: economic and health. There is also an agreement between the representatives of employers and employees – a compromise was found that respects the employee’s right to rest on Sundays and the entrepreneur’s right to rationalize the business. For now, however, the government is going against the tide – not liberalizing, but limiting, introducing again hours for seniors.
The growing number of COVID cases and the risk (the problem of maintaining social distancing) speaks in favor of “diluting” shoppers accumulating in long queues, especially on Saturdays. Unfortunately, it’s not today.
October may, however, be a decisive period for this matter – perhaps the government, after the reconstruction has just been carried out, will look at the problem of the Sunday trade ban differently than it has been so far and agree to amend the law.
The percentage of Poles who want to restore trade on all Sundays is systematically growing. After the holidays and before the expected second wave of COVID cases, this group is already in the lead.
For now, on Saturday, October 10, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the introduction of hours for seniors from Thursday, October 15. Again, as in spring, between 10am and 12am, they will have exclusivity in grocery stores, drugstores and pharmacies. This time it applies to people who are over 60 years of age.
Most Poles want to trade on all Sundays
Thus, employers prepared a draft law suspending the ban on Sunday trading during the pandemic and six months after it. After initial approval by the unions, they want to convince the government side to change the law in the Social Dialogue Council.
Topicality: However, this Sunday, October 4, is still banned from trading, although shopping is becoming more and more dangerous, especially at peak times, and there is no shortage of those on Saturday when additional crowds and a lack of social distance increase the risk. How much longer?
Only every third Pole wants to maintain the trade ban
According to a nationwide survey conducted by UCE RESEARCH at the request of Hiper-Com Poland and the BLIX Group, 53.5 percent. Poles are in favor of the return of trading Sundays. 33.7% are of the opposite opinion. However, 12.8 percent. of the respondents have a neutral attitude to it or cannot identify themselves. Taking into account individual age groups, 55 percent. people aged 18-25 are supported by the above-mentioned solution. 14 percent is against it. For 29 percent of respondents it is not an important issue and 2% do not have an opinion on it.
– Consumers at such a young age value freedom and independence. Therefore, the vast majority of them are opposed to trade restrictions. People who are indifferent to it may do some shopping online and simply not feel the effects of the current ban – says Marcin Lenkiewicz from the BLIX Group.
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On the other hand, Hubert Majkowski from Hiper-Com Poland points out that most of the youngest respondents grew up at a time when there was no trade ban. They treat it as a restriction that limits their rights. – Some young people believe that due to the restrictions they lose the opportunity to earn extra money. When things get worse on the labor market, there will be more supporters of trade Sundays – predicts Dr. Maria Andrzej Faliński from the Economic Dialogue Forum Association.
But restoring trading Sundays will not only help customers return to stores. The stakes are much higher. There are thousands of jobs that may be at risk in the coming months.
Thousands of people to be laid off
– About 400,000 people work in shopping centers people. If brands unable to recover from losses begin to close unprofitable stores, take a step back and change their development strategies, thousands of jobs, which today are mainly occupied by young people, including students, will disappear. This will be felt especially by local labor markets, both in small and large cities, explains the representative of Gemini Holding.
FTEs may also disappear from companies that operate shopping centers. – Today, each of the galleries has several contracts signed with external companies that deal, among others, with maintenance of cleanliness, maintenance of green areas, protection or marketing services. The necessity to look for savings on the side of the gallery, and thus reducing the scope of cooperation, may also mean that jobs in these companies will be at risk – he says.
As economists point out, Poland is entering the recession phase with unprecedentedly low GDP. Trade is one of the pillars of economic development in this GDP. Stimulating it by lifting the ban would have a positive impact on the entire economy, influencing the rebound effect expected by the government.
The number of supporters of trading Sundays is growing
The largest number of supporters of trading Sundays is in the age group of 37-55. As many as 65% of people are in favor of such a solution. 31% of respondents are of the opposite opinion. 3% do not have an opinion on this subject. 1% cannot take sides.
– The ban on Sunday trading is burdensome for people of this age who relatively often do not have time to go to shops in the middle of the week. In this group, the so-called emergency shopping. That is why most of the respondents are in favor of the return to trade on Sundays – comments Dr. Urszula Kłosiewicz-Górecka from the Polish Economic Institute.
Moreover, the survey shows that in the 56-80 age group there are 38% of supporters of returning to trading on Sundays. But there are as many as 59% of opponents. For 1%, it doesn’t matter. 2% do not have a clear opinion. An expert from Hiper-Com Poland notes that Poles of this age remember the times when Sundays were non-trading. Sentiment influences their opinions. Older adults are probably the most attached to tradition and religion, and these factors reinforce their opposition to work on this day.
– People in this age group may have the most conservative approach. Many of them believe that Sunday is a day of family rest. There are also retirees in this age group, who have more time for everyday shopping than young and busy people. Therefore, seniors do not see the need to open stores on Sundays, if they do not use them themselves – explains the expert from the BLIX Group.
Dr. Kłosiewicz-Górecka emphasizes that people aged 56-80 may also be more concerned about their health than younger consumers. So they have reasons to avoid large crowds of people, including large-scale shopping facilities. They can visit them while others are working. Therefore, they do not need trading Sundays.
Sunday will help GDP
However, more customers in shopping malls, increased sales dynamics and job protection are not the only demands for lifting the trade ban. One more factor prevails behind Sundays, this time macroeconomic.
– Poland enters the recession phase with unprecedentedly low GDP. Trade is one of the pillars of economic development in this GDP. Stimulating it by lifting the ban would have a positive impact on the entire economy, influencing the rebound effect expected by the government. The more that shopping centers are responsible for about 18 percent. retail trade in Poland – summarizes the managing director of Gemini Holding.