The sale of goods from retail premises is governed by the Sunday Trading Act 1994. This Act restricts certain large shops from opening for sale to a maximum of 6 hours between 10am and 6pm. A large shop is a retail shop with an internal sales area of at least 280 square metres (approximately 3000 square feet). Store rooms, staff facilities and external displays are excluded and a large shop cannot become a small shop on a Sunday by reducing its sales area.
Sunday trading rules for large shops in England and Wales
Shops over 280 square metres:
- can open on Sundays but only for 6 consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm
- must close on Easter Sunday
- must close on Christmas Day
If your Sunday trading hours are restricted, you must clearly display what they are inside and outside your shop.
Loading and deliveries on Sundays
If you have a large shop (over 280 square metres) you will need to check whether you require permission from your local authority to load and unload goods before 9am on Sunday.
Employment rules for restricted opening
Workers in any shop that opens on a normal Sunday may have special employment rights for more information see Sunday working on GOV.UK. There is no automatic right for workers to have public holidays off, including Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, unless it is in their contract. Extra pay for working public holidays is optional, unless it is stated in an employee's contract
Exemptions from Sunday trading restrictions
Shops exempt from the Sunday trading restrictions for large shops include:
- airport and railway station outlets
- service station outlets
- registered pharmacies selling only medicinal products and medical and surgical appliances
- farms selling mainly their own produce
- outlets wholly or mainly selling motor or bicycle supplies
- suppliers of goods to aircraft or sea-going vessels on arrival at, or departure from, a port, harbour or airport
- exhibition stands selling goods
We enforce Sunday trading law and will investigate complaints about businesses that breach that law. If you suspect anyone of breaking the Sunday trading law contact the Food, Health and Safety Team on the detail below. Further advice on street trading matters see trading hours for retailers: the law on GOV.UK.