The hours of trading on a Sunday is limited for most types of shops with a floor area larger than 280 square metres (a large shop). Shops smaller than this size are not subject to any form of trading restriction.
Sunday regulations for large shops
Large shops - retail businesses with a floor area of more than 280 square metres (3,014 square feet) have restrictions on their Sunday opening hours under the Sunday Trading Act 1994. The Act only applies to businesses in England and Wales, and there are significant fines for failing to comply if convicted at a magistrates' court.
Restricted opening hours for large shops
Many large shops can only open on a Sunday for a continuous period of six hours between 10am and 6pm.
If your business is affected by the rules, you must display notices of the six-hour period during which you plan to trade on Sundays in a clearly visible position inside and outside your shop.
You also need to check whether you require permission from your local authority to load and unload goods before 9am on a Sunday.
Shops exempt from Sunday trading rules
Some categories of large shops are exempt from the Sunday trading opening hours restrictions, e.g.:
- off-licences selling only or mainly alcohol
- airport and railway station outlets
- service station outlets
- registered pharmacies selling only medicinal products and medical and surgical appliances
- farms selling mainly their own produce
- outlets wholly or mainly selling motor or bicycle supplies and accessories
- suppliers of goods to aircraft or sea-going vessels on arrival at, or departure from, a port, harbour or airport
- exhibition stands selling goods
Large shops are not permitted to open on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday.
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