Liquor stores penalised as NSW Christmas trade goes 24/7

While eligible retailers in New South Wales were allowed to trade 24-hours-a-day in the two weeks before Christmas from December 11, packaged liquor stores outside hotels are not allowed to trade as an exempt retailer on restricted trading days such as Boxing Day, denying customers the convenience of shopping at local liquor stores.

Over 1,000 NSW liquor stores, around one third of whom are small business owners, will forfeit $3.5 million this Boxing Day due to an outdated, prehistoric and unfair law that forces them to close their doors to customers, according to the Liquor Stores Association NSW.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said the industry strongly supported the Christmas trading changes, provided retailers who didn’t want to open for extended hours during the Christmas shopping period were not forced to do so.

Eligible shopping areas include the CBD, Bondi Junction, Parramatta, Penrith, Blacktown and Liverpool.

However, Mr Zimmerman said that the ARA has called on state Labor and the NSW Upper House independents to support the government and allow Boxing Day trade for all retailers who want to open – not just the current restricted areas which kill trade for small and large businesses on the busiest trading day of the year.

Members of the Liquor Stores Association NSW are calling on the Parliament to wind back the unfair shop trading provisions of the Retail Trading Act 2008 that prohibits them from trading on a day that historically is one of the biggest of the year.

LSA NSW Executive Director Michael Waters said traditionally Boxing Day generated on average $3.5 million in revenue for liquor stores, two and a half times the amount of a regular trading day, while around 2,500 liquor store staff and their families across NSW are unfairly disadvantaged.

“Due to this nonsense law introduced by the then Labor Government in 2009, thousands of retailers can’t open their doors leaving employees, who have previously had the opportunity to work and earn lucrative penalty rates, with unnecessary hardship,” he said.

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