Sunday shopping voted hit and miss

West Australians have embraced Sunday trading with their hearts and wallets, according to the first detailed look at Sunday shopping.

It suggests Sunday has become a regular shopping day for one-third of the State.

Four in five West Australians have shopped on a Sunday, with supermarkets the main beneficiaries.

Of WA's Sunday shoppers, 83 per cent said they bought groceries, 36 per cent went out for clothing or footwear and 11 per cent for furniture and hardware.

The figures, obtained exclusively by _The Weekend West, _ were collated for a Curtin Business School and WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey of consumer confidence to coincide with Monday's one year anniversary of Sunday trading.

CCI chief executive James Pearson said Sunday had "become a normal shopping day" for many people.

Though most people shopped for groceries, supermarkets were often the lure that attracted people to a shopping centre.

He said signs that retailers were positive about the future suggested consumers were not merely deferring their shopping from another day but spending more.

"We can be confident that the total pool of spending is increasing," he said.

"The size of the pie is increasing and we know that for a number of reasons.

"First, since Sunday trading came in, there have been plans to redevelop a number of shopping centres.

"Second, international retailers such as TopShop and Zara have stated their intentions to move into Perth . . . None of that was happening before."

Woolworths has hired about 700 staff across Woolworths, Big W, Masters and Dan Murphy stores and the Shopping Centre Council of Australia put the number of new jobs as a result of WA Sunday trading at 1000.

But not everyone is happy.

Some WA retailers have a mixed response to the first year of Sunday trading.

The response from chain stores was typically more positive but some independent shops suggested business had been slow.

City retailers said the introduction of Sunday trading in the suburbs hurt business.

Independent Grocers Association spokesman Neville Gale, who runs a Supa IGA store in Waterford, said some independent supermarkets lost as much as 50 per cent of Sunday sales. Across the board he estimated IGA stores lost about 10 per cent of their weekly sales.

"It's been tough - really, really tough," he said of the past 12 months.

City Chic Mandurah store manager Sharon Peisley said she favoured Sunday trading but business had been disappointing.

Some shops in the Centro Mandurah centre did not open on Sundays or opened only for a few hours, which confused customers.

"We don't do big figures on a Sunday, which I find disappointing because I'm a big fan," Ms Peisley said.

Jill Langley, store manager at Lush Cosmetics in Karrinyup Shopping Centre, said the experience so far had been positive.

"It's not one of our busiest days but it's been really good," she said. "I think it's a good thing."

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said Sunday was an opportunity for retailers because shoppers tended to be more relaxed, more willing to spend and had more time to consider big purchases.

"I think the big opportunities are not just for supermarkets," he said.

"They are for the retailers who are offering the higher value purchase and there I'm talking about fashion retailers, I'm talking about furniture, electrical, anything that takes a decision to buy.

"For some retailers, Sunday trading has become the second biggest day of the week. For others, yes, it's costing them business.

"It's very difficult to get a balance for everybody."

He said shops had to compete with online retailers, who were open 24 hours a day.

The West Australian

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