ROCKINGHAM Shopping Centre opened its doors early for the first time last Sunday in the first day of a three-month trial to extend trading hours on Sundays.
The trial allows food vendors and small retailers within the centre to open at 10am throughout the trial period, unrestricted to the 11am opening times outlined under the Retail Trading Hours Act 1987.
Under the current restrictions, only general retailers can trade between 11am and 5pm on Sundays, but with larger shopping centres not opening until this time it barred some unrestricted businesses from operating to meet consumer demand.
The three-month trial resulted from a report released last month from by the Productivity Commission that detailed the changing attitudes toward working in and accessing hospitality, entertainment, retailing, restaurants and cafés on Sundays.
It contained data from the Shopping Centre Council of Australia that showed between 2009 and 2014 foot traffic in shopping centres increased on Sundays more than any other day.
South Metropolitan MLC Phil Edman welcomed the trial and said Rockingham Shopping Centre was well suited to host the trial, along with Morley Galleria, as it had previously been known for its extended trading hours.
“Allowing doors to open at 10am on a Sunday to access the food court and small retailers will allow these food vendors to provide a service to the many staff who commence work at 11am and also to the public who are waiting around for the shops to open,” Mr Edman said.
“In 2012 when the 11am to 5pm Sunday trading hours were introduced in WA, Rockingham lost the extended trading hours they were famous for.
“This is a great place to start this trial and prove that consumer demand exists for regular extended Sunday trading.”