SHOPPERS on the Sunshine Coast will have extra time to pick the perfect present this year with new rules allowing further extended Christmas trading hours.
From now until Christmas, supermarkets and department stores can open from 7am to 9pm Monday to Saturday.
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman said while it was the major retailers who requested the extended trading hours, he believed all retailers, no matter what their size, should embrace the change.
"Some retailers have been more progessive in their thinking and understand that they need to open for the extended hours," he said.
Do we need extended hours to shop before Christmas?
This poll ended on 13 December 2016.
Yes, it's a busy time so the extra hours make it easier.
No, they trade for long enough as it is.
I do all my Christmas shopping online so it doesn't affect me.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"They understand that consumers can use the internet at any hour on any day and therefore have embraced the competition and understand they should open to meet those consumer demands.
"Others think they give enough hours and feel like the extended trading hours are impinging on their time off, and I can understand this from small retailers, especially if they trade on a Sunday or extended hours after 6pm and then they have the big issue of paying penalty rates, because that it what's killing them. But they need to shift their thinking and where it's a mum or dad owned business, think, 'I'll do the penalty rates day and then take some extra time off when it's ordinary hours' so they can even up the costs."
Mr Zimmerman also didn't believe that the bigger supermarkets operating later would affect smaller independents.
"There's a cohort of retailers in Queensland that have been able to trade independent supermarkets or convenience type stores that believe they're going to lose trade to big supermarkets over the Christmas period. I think that's a fallacy," he said.
"For most consumers if they only need a few bits and pieces that they'd usually go to a smaller supermarket for they'll always choose that rather than find a carpark at a big supermarket and fight through the crowd."
White's IGA owner Roz White disagreed though.
"Any time of the day that the larger retailers trade it has a correlation across to the smaller independent supermarkets," she said.
"It means less people are shopping in smaller stores."
She said despite this, she still expected to be extremely busy over the festive period and would trade normal hours regardless of what the bigger stores were doing.
"Christmas is a very busy time of the year for us though and we're just happy to provide our service to our customers and we'll continue to be there for them when they need us."
Sunshine Coast major shopping centres including Sunshine Plaza, Kawana Shopping World, Stockland Caloundra and Noosa Civic all have plans to take advantage of the ability to trade longer with some offering their specialty stores the opportunity to open until midnight on more than one night.
Sunshine Coast Coles supermarkets will also open for an extra hour in the mornings and an extra three-and-a-half hours on Saturday evenings.
Coles state general manager Paul Bradshaw said the extra hours were important to allow customers more time to grab their groceries in this hectic time of year.
"Longer hours will provide customers with greater choice and convenience when it comes to grocery shopping - particularly in the lead up to the busy holiday period," he said.
Shoppers are expected to spend more than $48.1 billion in the lead up to Christmas according to the ARA and Roy Morgan Research.
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