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Sunday shoppers

If KDNP, the Christian democratic party in the government, were to consider sticking with its drive to keep retail outlets closed on Sundays, it would hit not only political, but also public opposition, a study conducted by market researcher TNS Hoffman shows.

The probe conducted in the wake of the initiative that was recently turned down by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán found that nearly half, 48% of the Hungarian public – 1.9 million families – regularly go shopping on the final day of the week. In Budapest and county seats 50% of respondents said they are happy the stores are open, and even in smaller localities, 40% of the sample said they want to go shopping Sundays.

In particular, the younger generation tends to time their rounds for weekends, with 65% of the 18–35 age group saying they are regulars, but the majority, 54% of respondents from the 36–55 group also responded likewise. Some 45% said that they take their children along for Sunday shopping, making buying household necessities a family program for many.

Based on the findings, the study shows the retail sector would also suffer greatly from being obligated to keep their stores shuttered. Since the respondents said they spend an average of HUF 12,000–15,000 on a Sunday trip to the store, the lost revenues could add up HUF 100 billion a year for the industry.

Sundays are also beneficial for retail companies because of the simple fact that families have more time to shop – and the time spent at an outlet and the amount of money spent were found to be in close correlation. Consequently, being closed on Sundays would mean losing one of the two most lucrative days of the week.

Regarding the KDNP drive itself, the majority, 59% voiced negative opinions. Opposition to the bill was 53% among those typically shopping alone, while it was 61% among those going with company. In a breakdown by age, those above 55 expressed the sternest rejection, with 71% opposed. The biggest support, of 36%, was in the 36–55 group.