For the first time in state’s history, all shops across suburban Adelaide will be permitted to open their doors on the Adelaide Cup Day public holiday next month, in a significant move that allows all South Australians to shop when and where they like.
It will also provide greater freedom of choice for employers to trade if they want to, giving workers the option of earning extra money with additional hours and provides a further boost to SA’s strong ongoing economic and jobs recovery from COVID-19.
Treasurer Rob Lucas has granted a special Ministerial exemption under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 which gives all retailers – regardless of size and location – the opportunity to trade from 9am to 5pm on Monday, March 8.
Treasurer Lucas said the decision was consistent with similar shop trading exemptions he had granted for Boxing Day over the past 3 years, Easter Monday (2019 and 2020) and last year’s Proclamation Day.
“On these particular days, we saw South Australians turn out in their droves to embrace greater freedom of choice in shop trading and we anticipate there will be a number of retailers who choose to take up this opportunity again,” said Mr Lucas.
“As the state continues its strong economic and jobs rebound from COVID-19, it’s critical we do everything we can to keep up this momentum and create the necessary environment to drive ongoing business and consumer confidence.
“It’s important to note that no-one can be forced to work on the public holiday. However, we know there’ll be many, particularly younger workers, who will be champing at the bit to earn some extra money on the day.”
While smaller shops (ie those under 200sqm) and supermarkets (those under 400sqm) right across Adelaide can trade whenever they like – and, therefore, could have opened on the public holiday previously – the only larger, non-exempt retailers that were able to trade on this particular day in the past were those in the CBD (from 11am to 5pm).
Under this exemption, they will be granted an extra 2 hours’ trade in the morning.
Previously, non-exempt shops in the suburbs were not allowed to trade at all.
Harbour Town at West Beach, which trades on public holidays, for example, has up to a dozen retailers (eg Adidas, Sheridan and Cotton on Mega) that are prevented from opening their doors simply due to their floor size. It is expected at least some of these dozen retailers would open their doors on the day.
Mr Lucas said when there’s economic uncertainty households tend to save much more of their disposable income, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different.
ABS data shows that households saved 18.9 per cent of their net disposable income in last year’s September quarter, up from an average 10.5 per cent for the 2019-20 year.
“A consumer-led recovery is very much dependent on those people with increased disposable income saved resuming their pre-COVID spending patterns.”