A vocal critic of the Marshall Liberal Government’s push to reform shop trading laws has again applied for – and been granted – a Ministerial exemption to open one of its stores outside prescribed shop trading hours to capitalise on Royal Adelaide Show crowds, citing the overwhelming “success’’ of last year’s extended trade.
Treasurer Rob Lucas has granted the temporary exemption under Section 5 of the Shop Trading Hours Act (1977) to Drakes Supermarkets, which sought extended opening hours for its Wayville Foodland – located opposite the showgrounds – for the 10-day duration of the Show.
The exemption – in place from Friday August 30 to Sunday, September 8 – will enable the more than 1300sqm Goodwood Rd store to open for an extra 34 hours, including until 10pm on Saturday and Sunday nights and from 7am on Sundays.
In his submission, Drakes Supermarkets General Manager Bob Soang said there was “widespread support’’ within the community, including from local residents, for extended shop trading.
“We found a significant number of customers attended our store during the extended hours in 2018, demonstrating a desire amongst the local community and visitors to the area to access the supermarket during these extended hours,’’ Mr Soang wrote.
Mr Lucas welcomed the fact Drakes acknowledged the groundswell of consumer demand for greater freedom of choice in shop trading.
“We are delighted that this particular retailer has experienced first-hand the genuine benefits of the Government’s sensible shop trading reforms in providing greater freedom of choice for their customers,’’ said Mr Lucas.
“We’ve always said, if traders want to trade, consumers want to shop and employees are willing and able to work, why should our silly shop trading laws stop them?
“It’s ironic, then, that retailers still need to come cap in hand to me, as Minister, to seek an exemption from the very laws they fought so hard to keep.”
Mr Lucas said other retailers in Adelaide’s inner south were free to apply for an exemption if they’d also like to take advantage of extended opening hours during the Show.
Under section 5 of Shop Trading Hours Act (1977), the Minister “may grant or declare exemptions’’ for a “specified shop, class of shops or shops generally”.