Let’s open up the shops on Sundays

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SUNDAY opening could be the key to boosting Matlock’s economy, according to a growing number of shopkeepers.

Danielle Barker, who runs Bellissima Jewellery on Dale Road, is calling on traders to open seven days a week as the improving weather continues to bring people into the town on a weekend.

She is one of a growing few who will be inviting shoppers in on a Sunday, having taken on an extra staff member in preparation.

She said: “I read a recent report about Sunday opening and I agreed completely. It’s really inspired me.

“I want to encourage people to open on Sundays, Bakewell is thriving on a Sunday and we need to be.

“More people are visiting Matlock on a Sunday, especially the way the weather has been.

“A lot of people work six days a week now, and the only chance they have to shop is on a Sunday.

“It really is the simplest of ideas, but we have a huge variety of shops her in the town.”

However, she feels the majority of traders need to get on board to make it successful, an emphasis supported by Crown Square’s Peli Deli proprietor, Mike Blair.

He said: “It’s something we are looking at, but we do need to get everybody open. It has to be right.

“We used to open Sunday and the trade was never quite there, but the town has changed.”

Sunday trading laws have relaxed over the years, while more recently it was announced that shops in London will be able to stay open for longer during this summer’s Olympic Games.

While there has been some opposition, others are hoping it will be a precursor to permanent extended hours across Britain.

Wirksworth-based Retail Inspector, Anna Brown, has mixed feeling over the changes.

She said: “It’s great that people have the choice, but it shouldn’t be to the detriment of independent shops.

“I just hope it would not drag people out of our market towns and into shopping centres.”

Despite this, Anna believes that traders should still be competing on a Sunday.

“I support it because shops have to be open when their customers want to shop,” she added.

“The key to successful retailing is being there and available, whether that be opening or shop or being on-line.

“People’s lives are very busy and a town like Matlock with so many attractions for tourists, it’s a huge opportunity.

“For many traders, Sunday is now the best day of the week, and there is proof now that Sundays are starting to equal Saturday in terms of footfall.”

n Would you go shopping in Matlock on Sundays if all the traders opened up?

Do you go shopping anywhere else in Derbyshire on Sundays?

Let us know by emailing news@matlockmercury.co.uk or go online to www.matlockmercury.co.uk and comment on this story.