Supermarket giant Morrisons willfully break the law by opening its overtime stores on Sunday to support NHS workers during the crown crisis.
The retailer will open at 9 a.m. this Sunday to allow NHS staff to have the store for themselves until 10 a.m. – which is usually reserved as “shipping time” – after which other customers will be admitted.
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The stores will still close, as usual, at 4 p.m. But that means they will be open for seven hours, which is strictly speaking illegal.
Current Sunday trade laws stipulate that supermarkets of around 280 square meters should only be open for a six-hour period between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The decision to flout the law comes after large supermarket chains lobbied parliament to temporarily extend the usual
Sunday reigns while the crisis was underway, but that came to nothing and died out when stores realized they were out of stock anyway.
Ironically, this has led to shorter hours than longer ones, but now Morrisons, in particular, wants to see the rules relaxed, insiders say.
Like others, Morrisons has rebuilt its shelves, introduced social distancing, and the supply chain is working, so it is testing the resolve of the local councils charged with enforcing Sunday’s trade laws.
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Some authorities, including Conwy in Wales and Wakefield, have publicly stated that they will not enforce current Sunday trading laws and sources from Morrisons have said other boards have given record assurances that none action would only be taken if Morrisons remained open for an additional hour, particularly if it was to accommodate NHS workers.
A Morrisons spokesperson said, “NHS staff do a great job in difficult circumstances. We offer them an extra hour because they can have a very narrow window of time to do their shopping. “
NHS staff also get 10% off their bills and Morrisons also has a click and collect service in hospital parking lots.
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