Sunday trading

Following the introduction of the Sunday Trading Act in 1994 there have been no restrictions on shopping hours - apart from Sundays. All shops are now able to open without restrictions between Monday and Saturday.

Restrictions on opening times on Sundays are now confined to large shops (defined under the Act as those having an internal sales area of over 280sq.m). The critical consideration is the floor area definition, which is clarified as meaning the part of the shop within a building that is used for display of goods and customer services.

Large shops must:

  • be registered with the council for trading on a Sunday, and
  • specify the six hours of trading on a Sunday which must be between the hours of 10.00 to 18.00, and
  • provide a sign visible both internally and externally specifying the times of trading

They are required to remain closed on Easter Sunday (and on Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday).

A Regulatory Reform Order came into force on 27 February 2004.  It removed the requirement for large shops in England and Wales to give prior written notification to the local authority of their Sunday opening hours or change in these hours.  The Order also repealed the restriction contained in section 26 of the Revenue Act 1889 on the sale of methylated spirits between 10pm on Saturday and 8am on the following Monday.

Small shops are not covered by these restrictions and can open freely. The Sunday Trading Act 1994 also includes specific measures to protect the rights of shop workers who do not wish to work on Sunday.

Apart from the restrictions mentioned above, it is left to individual owners to determine their opening hours in the light of customer demand.


West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard
DN21 2NA