German states gear up for 24-hour shopping

13th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 March 2006, BERLIN - Germany's moves to streamline its federal system of government could pave the way for massive deregulation of the country's restrictive shopping hours. A survey undertaken by Deutsche Presse-Agentur and released Monday found that at least 10 of Germany's 16 states were gearing up to introduce shopping round the clock during the working week.

13 March 2006

BERLIN - Germany's moves to streamline its federal system of government could pave the way for massive deregulation of the country's restrictive shopping hours. A survey undertaken by Deutsche Presse-Agentur and released Monday found that at least 10 of Germany's 16 states were gearing up to introduce shopping round the clock during the working week.

The drive to lift the restrictions on shop trading was welcomed by the Retail Traders' Association as an "important piece of de- regulation." Long considered a test of the ability of Europe's biggest economy to press on with much-needed reforms, Germany's retail trading laws have been slowly extended over the last decade or more.

But under the planned reform to Germany federal system, which is due to come into force next year, the states would be given control over setting the rules for retail trading hours.

Essentially, under the existing rules shops are required to close their doors by 8 p.m. during the week and on Saturday. Trading on Sundays and public holidays is largely not possible and most of the states seem to believe that it should remain that way.

Under certain circumstances and to mark major events, German retailers can open on Sundays.

German states which are to host matches during the upcoming football World Cup starting June 9 are already hoping to offer extended retail trading hours, including on Sunday.

But one state, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which has a large tourist industry, is weighing up whether to allow shops to open between noon and 7 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.

DPA

Subject: German news

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