Friday, 15 June 2007

Opening on Sundays?

The grand opening of the Pedestrian Heart in Darlington takes place on the weekend of June 30/July 1. There will be, we are promised, fun for all the family in the town centre! This is also the weekend of the Community Carnival with their procession through the town, so Saturday should be a good day. We certainly need it: trade has been very poor in the town for a couple of years with all this work going on, increased competition from other centres and the internet and rising interest rates. I don't like the design of the Pedestrian Heart, but it's time to put those issues behind us now and get the people back in town, spending their money!

For only the second time in over 20 years, my shop, The Health Warehouse on Post House Wynd, will open on the Sunday (July 1) from 10 to 4. The Council would like all shops in town to open permanently on Sundays, but I and many other independents are unwilling to go down that route. It's ok for the chain stores, they can employ unskilled students and part time staff and rotate their permanent staff to cover Sundays. It's different for independent shops which are generally smaller and don't have that flexibility.

I have no intention of working on Sundays, so why should I expect my staff to? We all have families and other commitments. Many of the people who work for me have been here for years and I have no intention of asking them to change their lives to accommodate Sunday trading. I know I'm losing money: Saturday is no longer the exceptional day in the week it used to be, because many people choose to shop on Sunday instead, but I think quality of life, for my staff as well as me, is more important than an extra few grand on the bottom line.

PS I would love to put a link on here so that you can read all about what's planned for the weekend, but with two weeks to go, the DBC website doesn't seem to have anything at all about it!

PPS I've now found a link:

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