Stores across Sydney have been granted around-the-clock trading hours to capitalise on the festive season, with selected retailers and shopping centres now able to stay open 24/7 in the lead-up to Christmas.
The Daily Telegraph reports that, in a retail first for New South Wales, from December 11 right through till Christmas retailers within Sydney CBD, Parramatta, Bondi Junction, Penrith, Blacktown or Liverpool won’t require specific planning approval to be permitted extended opening hours.
Planning Minister Pru Goward told The Daily Telegraph, “Previously, shops would be required to either lodge a new development application or modify their existing planning approval with their local council which, on average, has taken 68 days to have approved.”
He added, “This costs our retailers valuable time and money when trying to apply for a planning approval. This has meant smaller retailers, in the past, would not bother making the effort to extend their trading hours for just two weeks of the year.”
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) supports the initiative, which they say will not only give retailers a “much-needed boost during the crucial shopping season”, but will also help the ARA reach its hefty sales target this Christmas.
“With only 14 days until Christmas, we’re confident that this move will also support the ARA’s predicted pre-Christmas sales figure of $45 billion to go through retail tills before 24 December 2014,” said Russell Zimmerman, ARA’s executive director in a media release.
It’s also good news for us, who would shop in our sleep if we could. But retail staff could struggle as they turn into hard-working elves, putting up with the unfamiliar graveyard shift to bring everyone festive cheer.
Whether any retailers will take on the 24/7 opportunity is still undetermined, but if they want to stand a chance against online retailers in the current fickle retail landscape, during the busiest time of the year, they should probably make the most of this high-spending period.
[Via The Daily Telegraph]