Scunthorpe stores quick off mark with Olympic trading hours
Shops in the region have been quick out of the blocks to take advantage of special permission to trade for longer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A bill was passed by Parliament to suspend Sunday trading laws for eight Sundays, from July 22 to the end of the Paralympic Games on September 9.
This allows shops with a floor area of more than 280 square metres to open for extended hours for the duration of the Games, in a bid to boost the economy.
Sports Direct, on Scunthorpe High Street, will open from 9am to 6pm instead of 10am to 4pm for the duration of the Games. Craig McMillan, store manager, said: "I think the option to extend opening hours could potentially be very good for retail.
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"Hopefully we will be able to get people in the Olympic spirit by opening longer. I think the public reaction to extended hours will depend on how many retailers get on board. If everyone stays open longer it could draw a lot more shoppers into the town on a Sunday."
Other stores set to open for longer include Primark, also on High Street, which will open from 10am to 6pm instead of 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Supermarket giant Tesco is set to open its Scunthorpe store, on the Gallagher Retail Park, at 6am on Sundays.
Doors will then remain open until midnight the following Saturday, until September 9.
The chain's Ashby and Crowle branches will operate from 7am to 11pm, while the Brigg and Barton stores will be open from 9am to 8pm.
Asda is set to open its Carlton Street and Burringham Road branches in Scunthorpe from 9am to 8pm on Sundays, instead of 10am to 4pm.
But Morrisons and Sainsbury's both confirmed they would not be altering their Sunday opening hours in the town for the summer.
They join other big retail names like Topshop, Boots and HMV, which are also sticking to their usual opening times in Scunthorpe.
Other shops choosing not to extend opening hours on a Sunday are Wilkinson's, W H Smiths, Westgate Department Store, JJB Sports and Iceland.
Beckie Hallam, store manager at Boots, in the Foundry shopping centre, said: "We would consider the possibility of opening longer if enough stores follow suit, but too many shoppers think that town is closed on a Sunday."
Mike Walker, store manager at Westgate in The Foundry, said the store would not be extending its hours. He added: "Some larger cities will be able to take advantage of this temporary change but in my opinion that will not be the case in Scunthorpe."
Shoppers were yet to be convinced on whether the extended hours would be a success.
Anne Marie Halloran, 40, from Belton, said: "If enough stores get on board then it could work but they would have to advertise it very well.
"I thought for a long time that everything was closed on a Sunday, so the shops need to try harder to let people know they are open."
Susan Wright, 30, a shopper from Brigg, said: "I would be more tempted to come into town on a Sunday if all the shops took advantage of extended hours."
Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, added: "Giving shops the chance to open longer on Sundays during the Olympic and Paralympic Games will help bring a sales boost and help the local economy."