Flexible Sunday Trading will result in 2,000 new london jobs say retailers

The commitment, which will see Londoners employed throughout the West End and Knightsbridge, is supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson MP and some of the UK’s biggest retail players.

The pledge from West End and Knightsbridge businesses comes after the Treasury revealed last week that it is to consider giving local areas the power to extend trading hours for retailers.

Chancellor George Osborne cited New West End Company research in the announcement, confirming that an extra two hours of trading on Sunday would boost Central London businesses by £260m each year and provide over 2,000 additional full time retail jobs.

The research, carried out by Volterra Partners, also reported that together with the launch of Crossrail, the potential extension of Sunday trading hours could lead to almost a 100 per cent uplift in West End turnover, climbing from £8.8bn in 2014 to an estimated £16bn by 2025.

Proposals to extend Sunday trading hours in the West End and London’s major shopping hubs are supported by policies in the Mayor of London’s overall planning strategy for the capital, the London Plan.

New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers in the West End, launches its plan for additional jobs to coincide with the release of its manifesto, the Charter for Growth. In addition to modernising Sunday trading laws, the Charter calls for immediate action on air quality, a brave approach to new infrastructure and a planning system that advances the West End’s global competitiveness.

Speaking about the proposal Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “Proposed changes to Sunday trading regulations could revolutionise the shopping experience for millions of Londoners and visitors to the city and enhance the capital’s position as an international shopping destination. We are now working to see how this can be best applied in the West End, to bring it into line with our global competitors and generate the extra jobs and income the city needs.”

Sir Peter Rogers, Chairman of New West End Company, said: “For years we have been urging the Government to create a more flexible Sunday trading environment, just one of a number of measures in our Charter to ensure the West End continues to grow and thrive.

“Today’s pledge follows through on the estimated job creation from a Sunday trading overhaul which will provide over 2,000 new jobs for Londoners and particularly young and unemployed. Not only will the move bring further employment but allows us to better compete with other retail hubs around the world, many of which offer 24 hour facilities. While we recognise that extended trading hours may not be appropriate across the UK, in the West End and Knightsbridge, it will have a transformative effect.”

Sir Philip Green of Arcadia, said:”This is a vital initiative to keep London’s reputation as a premium and exciting shopping destination. We recognise there is an incredibly high level of expectation from customers in terms of retail theatre, exciting product and customer service when they travel into the West End and to Knightsbridge. The Crossrail, job creation and trading flexibility are all pivotal in future-proofing London against our global competitors.”

Michael Ward, Managing Director at Harrods, has also backed the pledge: “It is in the nature of the retailers who work on some of the capital’s most iconic streets to use ambition to bring the best service to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who flock here every year.

“The pledge to create thousands of new jobs fits into a programme of measures which will keep London at the forefront of global retail destinations, and as one we are proud to be part of such an exciting time in the area’s history.”