shopping centre Australia
Under current laws, shops with floor areas above 200sqm weren’t permitted to open for yesterday’s public holiday. Image – Canva
  • Harbour Town said the existing laws were both 'outdated' and 'confusing'
  • CBD stores were allowed to trade for longer than usual during Monday's public holiday
  • Suburban shops were allowed to open 9am to 5pm for the first time

The Centre Manager for Adelaide’s Harbour Town Premium Outlets has announced support for South Australian governments plan to deregulate retail trading hours.

Tania Rucioch cited dozens of larger retailers being allowed to open yesterday for the first time – despite it being the Adelaide Cup Day public holiday- due to this public holiday receiving a trading exemption.

Ms Rucioch has labelled existing laws as ‘outdated’ and ‘confusing’.

“We are in full support of this public holiday exemption and trading hours deregulation as a whole,

“Customers repeatedly tell us they are confused about what stores are open, are disappointed that many are closed when they get here, or they don’t visit at all. These laws, unfortunately, do contribute to that confusion and we welcome these proposed changes trialled here today.”

Tania Rucioch, Adelaide Harbour Town Centre Manager

Under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977, stores with a floor area above 200sqm are not permitted to open during public holidays, but stores with a floor area below 200sqm are able to.

This means larger retailers such as Cotton and Adidas wouldn’t usually be permitted to open – although smaller stores within the shopping centre would have been able too.

South Australian Treasurer, Rob Lucas, has described the current laws as ‘crazy’.

“Our current shop trading laws are an absolute mess – they’re a handbrake on local jobs, economic growth and freedom of choice for South Australians who just want to shop, work and trade when it suits them

“There’s simply no logical reason why some retailers should be allowed to open, and employ staff, while others have to slam their doors shut – purely because of their floor size.”

Rob Lucas, Treasurer of South Australia

Historically, he added the debate had been centred around supermarket hours, which meant ignoring discretionary stores such as those at Harbour Town.

Under the exemption, stores in Adelaide’s CBD were given an extra two hours to trade yesterday while suburban stores – regardless of size – were able to trade from 9am to 5pm.

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