President of the IPP: The act on banning trade on Sundays should be put in the bin. It's the annihilation of small shops

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Over 70% of Poles do not want politicians to plan their weekends, according to a survey conducted for the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers. The law on banning trade on Sundays has to be thrown away, and free Sundays should have all industries," the president of this organisation argues. The ban on trade is mainly forfeited by small shops, which are unable to cope with aggressive promotions of the biggest chains on Fridays and Saturdays. About 16 thousand shops have gone bankrupt so far - says Cezary Kaźmierczak.

- Dissatisfaction with the trade ban on Sunday will be deepened. Until now, everything was happening in beautiful weather, and now it's freezing, so there's nowhere to go. The greatest dissatisfaction with this is in the smallest towns. There was a custom to go to church on Sunday and then go with the family to the shopping centre, and that was an important element of morality - says Cezary Kaźmierczak, President of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers, Newseria Biznes news agency.

The Maison & Partners survey, commissioned by ZPP, shows that 71% of Poles believe that a ban on trade is a violation of their consumer freedom, and the state should not determine how citizens spend their Sundays. The almost complete ban on trade on Sundays, which is to come into force in 2020, is negatively affected by 65% of Poles. The greatest number of opponents of trade restriction is among people in small towns (up to 20 thousand inhabitants).

- It is already known that about 16 thousand shops have gone bankrupt, the increase in sales in shops up to 300 sq. m is half of what it was a year ago, which means that it is clear that with such a fast-paced economy it is not good - Cezary Kaźmierczak emphasises.

Euromonitor International estimates that 5.2 thousand small shops may disappear from the market in 2019. The large ones and supermarkets will arrive - by nearly 2 thousand. Over 60% of Poles still do their shopping on Sundays, and those free from trade usually in small shops. However, the volume of purchases is gradually changing. The largest stores, through large promotions, attract customers on the days before trade-free Sundays, so it is more profitable for customers to do large shopping (1-2 times a week). The ban on trade therefore hits small, often district shops.

- Networks try to shape the habit of shopping once a week. Wild promotions on Fridays and Saturdays serve this purpose. In the 1990s there were also such attempts, but then the Poles could not afford it. Today they already have the money to do food shopping once a week. If the chains manage to shape such a custom, it means a permanent and irreversible annihilation of Polish small trade - convinces the president of ZPP.

According to Kaźmierczak, the situation was similar in Hungary, where trade-free Sundays were valid for thirteen months. There, the number of small shops fell by 13 percent. At the same time, the scale of food waste increased.

- The bill has to be withdrawn and thrown away. We need to introduce a simple provision in the Labour Code that every employee, not only in trade, is entitled to two free Sundays a month - Cezary Kaźmierczak emphasizes.