South Australians keen to get cracking on their Christmas shopping are expected to flock to city and suburban retailers until midnight tonight, as extended festive shop trading hours ramp up in the lead up to Christmas.
Shops have been granted a State Government exemption to open until midnight tonight, tomorrow night (Friday 20th) and on Monday (December 23) if they choose – with Westfield Marion hosting a marathon 32.5-hours of non-stop trading from 9am on Monday, December 23 until 5.30pm on Christmas Eve (Tuesday, December 24).
It comes as SA-first midnight trading on Black Friday last month has been heralded as an overwhelming success by local retailers, attracting huge crowds (foot traffic was up 35% in Westfield Marion compared with last year) and strong retail sales.
Rundle Mall Management Authority said Black Friday 2019 was one of the busiest trading days they’ve ever had, with “strong trading beyond expectations”.
Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the results as further evidence of South Australians’ enormous appetite for greater freedom of choice in shop trading hours, which will drive positive economic and jobs growth.
“What we’ve always said is that if traders want to trade, consumers want to shop and there are employees willing and able to work, why should our silly shop trading laws stop them?” said Mr Lucas.
“The resounding success of extended trading on Black Friday is proof there is strong demand for greater freedom of choice in shop trading laws in South Australia.
“We saw queues dozens deep outside some stores in Rundle Mall on Black Friday last month, with one retailer, for example, publicly reporting a 10% growth in sales that day compared to the previous year.
“Westfield Marion reported a 35% growth in foot traffic on the day, with most shops choosing to stay open until midnight to capitalise on the surge in consumer demand.
“With the opportunity for staff to work additional hours, if they choose, and earn extra money – this is good news for local jobs and the economy.
“We look forward to similar scenes in the lead up to Christmas over the next week.”