More Kmarts mat go 24/7

Kmart has identified at least eight stores in WA it would consider opening 24/7 if unlimited trading hours were spread across the State.

A spokeswoman said the retailer wanted complete deregulation of trading hours across WA, with its stores at Joondalup, Rockingham, Innaloo and Midland the most likely to move to around-the-clock trading if possible.

Stores at Booragoon, Carousel, Mandurah and Morley also would be considered for 24/7 trading.

Kmart will open WA's first 24/7 department store at Eaton Fair shopping centre in November.

A quirk in trading laws has allowed unlimited trading in the Shire of Dardanup since 1994, but Kmart is the first to fully exploit it.

Premier Colin Barnett said yesterday further deregulation of trading hours was inevitable but would not happen in a hurry.

"The trend is to gradually deregulate trading hours and that's because of the modern lifestyle where people have different work patterns and different family patterns," he said.

"Some anomalies do need to be removed around hardware and no doubt in the future there will be further deregulation. But at the moment we have achieved what's possible and I think most consumers are happy with that."

UnionsWA secretary Meredith Hammat yesterday hit back at the push for change, claiming shoppers would not suffer if the laws remained unchanged but workers would suffer if they changed.

"Kmart wants to profit when some people get an urge to shop at 3am, without having to prove the need," she said. "We're not talking about a 24-hour chemist. No one really suffers because they can't buy jeans at 3am.

"Fully-deregulated work and trading hours would just leave retail workers unsure of their hours, income and lost time with family."

The West Australian

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