Sunday shopping strong four months after it became legal again

Retail

ksh

Four months after the ban on large shops opening Sundays was lifted, the major store chains are reaching the level of Sunday shopping traffic that was customary on the last day of the week before the introduction of the mandatory ban a year and a half ago, reports daily Magyar Nemzet, cited by index.hu.

Retail trade has increased steadily for three years: Shown is the Volume index of sales in retail stores, adjusted for calendar effects. Same period of previous year=100.0. (Central Statistical Office)

The rhythm of trade that was usual up until the Sunday closings law was implemented in March 2015 has slowly returned at major store chains. At the SPAR chain, for example, Sunday trade has reached 9% of total weekly trade, just as it was prior to March 2015, according to reports.

At the same time, it remains unclear for the time being how the shopping ban has affected workforce numbers, while questions of Sunday bonuses and rest days remain unresolved. Stores are set to discuss outstanding issues with trade unions in the fall at the earliest, with potential changes likely only in 2017, as previously indicated by Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga at a session of the permanent consulting forum of the competitive sphere and the government.

Each Sunday some 80–100,000 people work of the total half million employed in the commercial sector, so that issues of Sunday bonuses and additional days off affect a great number of people, according to reports. Previously the Sunday bonus was 100%, but the government cut this back simultaneously with the lifting of the Sunday opening ban. During the roughly one-year period of the ban, the 100% bonus applied only to the five Sundays of the year when shops were still permitted to open. With the ban’s end, an earlier bonus of 50% has been restored.

Employees in shops would be granted one mandatory free Sunday per month, but trade unions wish to increase this to two Sundays a month, according to reports.

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