This weekend Perth is being dragged, kicking and screaming (it seems), into the 21st century.
And boy am I excited.
You may take it for granted.
I did when I lived in NSW, and then in the USA, where many grocery stores are open 24/7 and most shops until at least 8pm at night including weekends.
When we moved back to sleepy old Perth I kept getting caught out. Oh yeah, most of the shops are closed on Sundays.
But not anymore, this weekend marks a new era for our city, Sunday trading (not all day Sunday, but from 11-5, we will take what we can get). Cue the fireworks, this is something to get excited about, or not, depending on your point of view.
Most of the news I have been hearing lately has been pretty negative, especially if you listen to talk radio. It seems that the sky is falling and small business owners especially seem to despise the idea. Claims are being thrown around that people don't want to SHOP on Sundays, no only browse. Hmmmm, I wonder if this is research based? Have you been to Fremantle on a Sunday? Due to weird tourism zoning regulations Fremantle is allowed Sunday trading, and it is always packed. I am pretty sure I may have seen a couple of people with shopping bags as well that potentially could have some purchases in them, just saying. I hear Joondalup (NOR) is pretty busy too, but that is so far away from me that I consider it to be a different city. The city also has had shopping from 1pm Sundays, but we rarely make the journey because I don't feel like paying a million dollars for parking!
Don't get me wrong, I love my city, but this is something that has bugged me for a long time. I don't understand what has taken so long. I would think that it would make sense to be open on a day that most of the population is not at work? Especially for dual income families that don't want to fight the hordes of people at the shops for our one night a week where shops are open past 5.30pm, Thursday night shopping.
Years ago, we even had a referendum about it, and it was voted against. Yep, apparently the Sunday trading debate is a big, big deal to people here.
If I go to a big shopping centre on a Sunday and a bunch of the shops are closed, well then that is just annoying, and of course people wont want to shop on Sundays if they are unsure if the store they want to go to will actually be open.
So, if you have never been to Perth, maybe this will entice you, we have shops, that are open half-days on Sundays, pretty awesome right!