Sunday Trading Law Change Could Do More Damage Than Good.

The Chancellor’s announcement that Sunday trading hours will be relaxed for large stores during this summer’s London Olympics has prompted the Association of Convenience Stores to warn the plan could cost smaller retailers up to £2,000 a day.  Richard Olds, CEO at Vista Support, discusses how profits can be maintained through keeping in-store technology running. 


The Olympics is predicted to provide a £1bn boost to British businesses. However, the Chancellor’s Budget announcement that Sunday trading laws will be relaxed during the eight-week period around the Olympics is not good news for all retailers.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has warned that the change in legislation, which will allow large retailers to open around the clock on Sundays from July 22, could cost small shops up to £2,000 in sales each day. The amount lost could total £500m by the end of the summer.

With high street footfall declining and stores already fighting for every penny, the Chancellor’s decision could mean a difficult summer ahead for smaller retailers.  More than ever, the in-store experience will be crucial to these shops if they are to convince customers to come to them, rather than the supermarkets.

Maximise the consumer visit

The extended Sunday trading hours will reinforce the need for smaller retailers to plant the consumer visit firmly at the top of their agenda.  Whether it is finding the products they require quickly or moving through the point of sale efficiently, by ensuring a streamlined shopping experience, the time the customer spends in-store is likely to be longer.  The longer the consumer spends in the shop, the greater their potential spend will be.

This time can be maximised by maintaining in-store technology and using already established systems to full capacity.  Keeping tills up and running at all times will minimise the number of customer defections to the bigger stores.

Sustain revenue with technology

Maintaining in-store technology plays a key role in sustaining a steady revenue stream. If a shopper experiences delays in paying for their goods due to point-of-sale downtime they are much more likely to become frustrated and look elsewhere.  With the increased Sunday competition, it will be vital that when the customer is in the shop the retailer delivers the service that they expect.


By looking to a specialist support provider, a retailer can be assured that retail technology downtime will be minimised and that IT failures will have a minimal effect on business.  Most importantly, it will understand the cost to a retailer’s business due to a system failure and the value of avoiding the resulting downtime and long-term reputation damage.


Maintenance support

With the extension in Sunday trading, it will be vital to retailers that their maintenance support provider is available whenever they are open.  Anything less will not provide the high level of service today’s customers demand.  An efficient maintenance support system will help to maintain maximum equipment up-time and have retailers back trading at full capacity as soon as possible. To smaller retailers, time really will mean money this summer.

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