Open all hours? Retailers say no thanks to 24/7 shopping
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Shop owners in the Norwich Lanes are considering opening late in the festive run-up but not around the clock.
And large national chains also view there to be insufficient 'appetite' for opening 24 hours a day even though the government is making it possible.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said he is in support of it, relaxing rules and giving local authorities the discretion to allow shops to open throughout the night to recoup Covid losses.
Jonty Young, spokesman for the Norwich Lanes Association, said a late-night 'shop-a-thon' could be arranged at short notice. However, after talks with shop owners, he said opening for 24 hours was unlikely to happen.
He said shop owners were currently waiting to see how trade went when lockdown eased.
"Being independent, one of the benefits is that if you open later and no one is around, you just close up and go. Businesses have seen trade online increase in lockdown, many have put into place payment online to keep ticking along. I think they'll wait and see how trade is after this Thursday and the weekend."
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Both John Lewis and Primark have stated they will not be taking advantage of any 24 hour a day shopping option in Norwich.
Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, Business Improvement District, said after speaking to some of the major retailers in Norwich, they were keen to open until 9pm at the latest.
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"We know many of the shops are opening 9am-7pm and some of the bigger ones like Marks & Spencer and Primark, are going to be opening until 9pm but there isn't the appetite for 24 hours.
After Wales and Scotland came out of lockdown, there was a huge increase in customers so businesses are anticipating from Thursday a real pick up in people coming into the city to do their Christmas shopping. Many people still like the physical side of shopping. People can feel the return of some form of normality, but I can't see anyone opening up for 24 hours."