Consumers, businesses adjust to new Sunday shopping hours
It’s been a month since new Sunday shopping hours were introduced in Manitoba, and for some business owners the transition has come with growing pains.
“By opening up for the extra hour, we were only getting one to three customers in that hour,” said Munther Zeid, who owns a Food Fare Portage Avenue.
When the province introduced new extended Sunday shopping hours to consumers and businesses on Aug. 1, Zeid decided to open his business at 9 a.m.
As of Aug. 1 retailers were allowed to open stores at 9 a.m. rather than the previous noon start.
Zeid said he made the change to remain competitive but hasn’t seen any results.
“We have bare minimum staff right now,” said Zeid. “Unless it got busier, we were ready to have more people. It’s not making any difference whatsoever.”
And employee Jamal Tarifi said the change has been frustrating.
“Now we have to wake up early. It doesn’t feel like a weekend anymore,” said Tarifi.
Customers elsewhere though, said having people ready to serve earlier in the day has been nice.
David Degrave was out before noon Sunday shopping.
“I found it allows us to get the day started a bit quicker,” said Degrave. “Not that we’re doing a bunch of shopping, but it’s nice to go for an early morning coffee and then pick something up at the store.”
Degrave’s sentiment was shared by shopper Abby Cluett, who was also out shopping in Winnipeg Sunday morning.
“I’m a morning person, and it kind of sucks having to wait until noon 12 p.m. to get stuff done,” said Cluett.
Officials with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce said despite difficulties at first, feedback has been generally positive and it takes time for consumers to adjust to changes.
Zeid said he will be returning to his regular hours next week.