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Trading Hours

Convenience stores with a floor area of up to 280 square metres (3,000 square feet) can choose their own Sunday opening hours. However, they must be aware that staff who work on a Sunday may have special employment rights. There are no trading restrictions on the opening hours of shops under 280 sq m: they may be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

Many large shops with a floor area greater than 3000 sq ft can only open for a set number of hours on a Sunday. The majority of shops over 3000 sq ft can only open on a Sunday for a continuous period of six hours between 10.00 and 18.00. However, some categories of large shop are exempt from the restrictions placed on opening hours by the Sunday Trading Act 1994. They are:

  • Shops such as off-licences that sell only or mainly alcohol
  • Shops in airports and railway stations
  • Shops at service stations
  • Registered pharmacies that don’t sell any goods other than medicinal products and medical and surgical appliances
  • Shops on a farm that mainly sell their own produce
  • Shops that wholly or mainly sell motor or bicycle supplies and accessories
  • Shops that only supply goods to aircraft or sea-going vessels on arrival at, or departure from, a port, harbour or airport
  • Exhibition stands selling goods

Easter and Christmas

As well as complying with restrictions on opening hours on normal Sundays, large stores of more than 3000 sq ft must not open on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day. Small shops are free to open when they choose on these days.

There are no restrictions on Sunday trading hours in Scotland.