The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has welcomed comments by the Chancellor George Osborne during the budget suggesting that Sunday trading laws could be relaxed.
The HTA hopes that such moves will allow all retail businesses, including garden centres, to trade on a level playing field. HTA CEO Carol Paris said, “This could really benefit the horticultural sector as a whole and is one of the ‘asks’ of Government in the recently published industry wide ‘Ornamentals Action Plan’. The HTA has been lobbying on Sunday trading for over two decades now and we are delighted that at last moves are being taken to remove this outdated piece of legislation.”
She added, “This is all about choice – choice for the public to shop when they would like and choice for garden retailers to open when they like. With online trading allowing people to shop 24/7 it is ridiculous that someone can sit and eat in a garden centre restaurant (which are exempt from the law) on a Sunday and order garden product online but not actually purchase products in store. Gardening continues to be one of the nation’s favourite pastimes and weekends are typically when more time is spent on doing outdoor projects and so a relaxation of the law will no doubt provide a welcome boost to trade.”