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Retailers can’t get no satisfaction from Stones

Media release
Newmarket Business Association

Tuesday 28 February 2006

Retailers can’t get no satisfaction from Stones visit

“The world’s greatest rock n roll band will be strutting its stuff at Western Springs on Easter Sunday, but any visitor wanting to also experience Auckland’s best shopping that weekend will be largely out of luck. Antiquated laws that make shop trading on Good Friday and Easter Sunday illegal will badly let down everyone this year,” said Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.

“With very limited tickets in Australia, we can expect a flock of wealthy Aussies to cross the ditch too see the Rolling Stones. But unfortunately for most of that long weekend their dollars can’t be spent in our stores. That’s outrageous given the economic climate.

“Despite huge consumer demand by visitors from around the country and Australia that weekend, Auckland’s premier retail district, Newmarket, will resemble a ghost town for two of the three days. It simply makes no sense and the restrictions can not be justified.

“While we can spend the night together with Mick and Keith, how about a little brown sugar for the retailers who face a difficult year in a contracting economy?”

“I respect that the issue of Easter trading is contentious, but why shouldn’t it be retailers who choose whether to open their doors. What’s more if the public was given the choice, my money’s on them putting their hands up for the shops. Sure Easter Sunday is a family day, but let’s not forget that shopping these days is a favourite family leisure activity.

“News that the Stones will be in town this Easter has changed everything. Auckland will be abuzz and retailers will be fuming. Unfortunately, there’s no avenue under the currently legislation for retailers to apply for exemptions even when circumstances change dramatically. Parliament needs to seriously look at the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act of 1990. It’s out of sink with society’s wants and needs and it’s costing the economy.

Given this is an Auckland-specific dilemma, Cameron Brewer said he will be approaching the Minister for Auckland Issues and Consumer Affairs, Hon Judith Tizard, asking her to do all she can to ensure Auckland’s shops can open this Easter to accommodate expected demand.

“I know we can’t always get what we want but if we try sometimes, we just might find, we get what we need,” said Mr Brewer.


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