The Christmas Day and New Year's Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007 prohibits large shops from opening for the purpose of retail trading on Christmas Day and confers power on Scottish Ministers to prohibit such shops from opening on New Year's Day. Since the Act came into force in 2007 large stores have closed for the purposes of making retail sales on Christmas Day, however trading on New Year's Day has not yet been restricted.
This economic and family life report sets out the estimated impact on businesses if legislation were to be passed that would close large retail stores to the public on New Year's Day, exploring both the potential impact on the Scottish economy and family life. Metrics to understand the retail sector's fair work principles are considered in relation to alternative means of supporting those employed in the sector. This report also explores the current economic climate and the recent and ongoing impact that Covid-19 has had on the retail sector.
Under the Christmas Day and New Year's Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007, a large retail store is defined as one with a trading floor area exceeding 280 square metres (3,000 square feet). As a result, data on the direct businesses that would be impacted by this legislation are limited as the majority of official statistics do not define businesses in this manner. It should also be noted that some exemptions may be applied to specified trades or businesses and shops at specified places. It is difficult to use standard definitions of business size such as employee size and turnover given that the physical size of a store does not easily align with these definitions and is likely to overlap.