At the very least, given the size of the population (and spending power...) you would think that London businesses would be open at a more extended rate of time than they are. Well, as of yesterday, I now know why these bizarre Sunday hours are what they are: it's the law!
Only since 1994 have UK retailers been allowed to open on Sunday at all, and if you are a business with a shop of more than ~3000 square feet, you are restricted to be open no more than 6 hours on the day-and it has to be between the hours of 10am-6pm. Also, apparently, only 53% of UK businesses are open on Sunday. Crazy.
But wait: that may all be about to change! In an effort to 'stimulate the economy' during the Olympics and Paralympics, the Chancellor (think, 'UK Treasurer') is apparently soon to announce that they will suspend Business Trading Hours rules on Sundays and allow shops to stay open for more than 6 hours. Oh, and this is supposed to be a 'test' to see if the Trading Hours rules shouldn't be permanently suspended.
Erm...so, the crap-tastic UK Economy (read: recession-and possible soon to come double dip) of the past four years hasn't warranted a revision of these rules already? Are we really *just now* thinking, 'hey! there's this thing called the internet that is open for business 24/7/365...if we want UK brick & mortar retailers to continue to be competitive, perhaps we should allow them to um...compete?'
As progressive as I think the UK is on many social and economic matters, something like this creeps up that just makes me smack my forehead and shake my head in complete and utter confusion.