A major convenience store chain have copied Żabka’s strategy of using branches as parcel collection points, allowing them to open on Sundays.
Last week the ABC convenience store chain announced a deal with DHL that allows people to pick up packages in their stores. Crucially, this makes it possible for selected ABC shops to open on Sunday as they can be considered as a post office.
Although the ABC network may not be as familiar to Wrocławians as Żabka or Carrefour Express, they are in fact the largest such chain in the country. ABC have around 8,600 branches nationwide, most of which operate in countryside towns and villages. They do have a few stores in Wrocław too, in districts like Gaj, Jagodno and Gądów Mały among others.
A reasonable number of ABC stores do already operate on Sundays, as some franchise owners choose to run the shops themselves.
Stores that act as collection points will nonetheless be able to benefit from more flexibly. The owner need not be the solitary worker, so the shops can hire more staff and operate when the owner is ill or on holiday.
The move comes just before the Christmas shopping period, when the Sunday ban is temporarily relaxed for a few weeks. Next Sunday the shops will be closed as normal, however trading is permitted without restrictions on December 15th, 22nd and 29th.
The Solidarność Trade Union, one of the two major driving forces behind the Sunday ban, have made no secret of their fierce opposition to the parcel collection loophole. Poland’s PiS Government are close to Solidarnośc and are expected to remove the clause early next year.
As of next march, shops will of course be closed every Sunday. The only exception will be a couple of Sundays that fall before or after key public holidays.
Despite these obstacles, retailers are not going to give up on Sunday trading. Żabka are in the process of developing ‘Amazon-go style’ stores that require no sales staff whatsoever.