10:47 h / 2020/11/30
- Communities secretary Robert Jenrick says he plans to remove the usual lengthy application process for extended hours in order to boost trade.
Retailers could soon find themselves allowed to open their doors to customers 24/7 throughout December and January, as ministers look at ways to aid economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick will remove the bureaucracy surrounding extended-hour trading applications, he announced in the Daily Telegraph. Retailers usually have to submit themselves to a lengthy and time-consuming application process under the Town and Country Planning Act if they wish to extend hours outside the window of 9am to 7pm. However, Robert wants to ensure that retailers, if they so wish, can be fast-tracked through the process so they can open their doors as much as possible between now and the end of January, which for many may allow them to claw back some of the shortfall caused by October and November lockdowns.
While not all retailers will be in a position to take advantage of these special relaxations, the news will undoubtedly be welcomed by toy and game retailers who have found themselves at the mercy of lockdown closures during what would usually be some of the busiest weeks of the year for the industry.