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Sunday Trading Ban Still Denting Sales In Small Shops

Data compiled by market research firm Euromonitor International has backed up claims that the Sunday trading ban is hurting sales in small shops. 

One of the intentions of the Polish Government’s Sunday trading ban is to help smaller retailers in the battle against major supermarket chains. However, in May of last year Polish Chamber of Commerce director Maciej Ptaszyński revealed that sales in small shops had decreased 4.7% in April compared to March (when the ban did not apply).

Now Maciej Ptaszyński has revealed that the growth small shops had been benefiting from in 2017 dropped 50% in 2018. 

“Last year customers often failed to remember which two Sundays per month stores were open. With regulations tightened, it is highly likely they they will not go shopping at all on that one Sunday each month,” Mr Ptaszyński is quoted as saying on polandin.com.

Last May, Ptaszyński also stated his belief that the Sunday trading ban is leading to supermarkets gaining an even bigger share of the market: 

“Smaller, poorer networks can not afford such advertising expenditures [as big supermarkets], so although they were supposed to gain from limiting trade – in fact they are losing. It was similar in Hungary, where large retail chains’ aggressive advertising campaigns increased their market share at the expense of smaller entities”

Maciej Ptaszyński, Director of the Polish Chamber of Commerce

Ptaszyński appeared to be referring to the big supermarket chains, who have heavily promoted special offers available to customers only on Friday and/or Saturdays.

New data from Euromonitor International published in Rzeczpospolita newspaper also predicts that as many as 5,200 small shops could close in Poland this year. At the same time, the research estimates up to 1,200 thousand new supermarkets (including discounters) will open. Biedronka alone will open between 100-150 new stores this year according to their CEO.

Consumers can become accustomed to the trade ban, but such a change does not make economic sense. Small stores are suffering terribly, Sunday turnover has almost evaporated – it is down by 20-30 percent. 

Andrzej Faliński, president of the Economic Dialogue Forum

One beneficiary of the Sunday trading ban seems to be petrol stations. Polandin report that petrol stations across the country reported increased sales last year.

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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