The National Retail Association (NRA) has ushered in a new era for south-east Queensland retailers, shoppers and workers, on the first day of its landmark extended and harmonised trading hours.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the new, relaxed trading hours, which kicked off at 7 this morning after the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission handed down its unanimous ruling in October, would add more than $100 million to the Queensland economy each year, and drive the creation of around 1000 jobs.
“From today, major retailers right across the south-east corner will be free to open from 7am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday, allowing them to better service their customers, and stay open when their customers want to shop,” Ms Lamb said.
“The previous rule that large stores and supermarkets slammed close their doors at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon has been a huge source of frustration – shoppers wanted stores open, and retailers wanted to stay open, but the legislation didn’t allow that until today.
“The Queensland economy has consistently enjoyed above-average growth and the south-east corner is its engine room.
“This is a modern and dynamic region – Brisbane is Australia’s third-largest city, and known for its outdoor lifestyle, dining, culture and festivals; the Gold Coast is one of the biggest tourism hot spots in Australia and on the verge of hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“The south-east economy has changed drastically since the trading hours laws were enacted 20 years ago, when a 9 – 5, Monday to Friday workday was the standard, so today is a great day for our retailers, large and small, their employees and their busy consumers.
“This is a sensible compromise between the needs of shoppers and the home lives and leisure opportunities of retail workers.
Richard Heinz, Scentre Group regional manager who oversees all Westfield shopping centres in QLD welcomed the news as a win for both customers and retailers alike.
“Our number one priority is to deliver flexibility and convenience for our Westfield shoppers. The new legislation gives our retailers the opportunity to trade at times that best meet the needs of their customers.
“Taking effect today, the new trading hours legislation is just in time Super Saturday – a nation-wide pre-Christmas sales event, exclusive to Westfield, that marks just three weeks until Christmas Eve. Shoppers can take advantage of the new, longer trading hours to shop the sales at a time that suits them best.”