Poll: Mixed reaction as Sunday shopping rules relaxed in Ipswich for Olympics

STORES are preparing for the first weekend of de-regulated Sunday trading to coincide with the Olympics and Paralympics.

But their response to the relaxation of the Sunday trading laws for the next six weeks is patchy.

In Ipswich town centre many of the stores are only planning to open for the six hours that they are normally permitted to trade on Sundays.

But a few major retailers – including Marks and Spencer, Primark, and Wilkinsons are planning to open for longer.

Away from the town centre most superstores are opening for much longer – Tesco’s superstores at Copdock and Martlesham are opening from 6am every Sunday and will continue trading on a 24-hour basis.

East of England Co-op stores which are subject to Sunday Trading restrictions will be open until 7pm.Asda stores will be open from 9am to 8pm, and Morrisons will be open from 9am to 6pm. The only superstore not to open longer is Sainsbury’s.

Ipswich Central held a meeting with major retailers this week to try to organise a co-ordinated approach to the relaxation, but it was clear that would not be possible.

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Paul Clement, executive director of Ipswich Central, said: “I can understand the relaxation will be attractive for the major food stores on the edge of the town, but the benefits for the town centre traders are not as clear – stores are making their own decisions.”

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