How Deregulated Trading Hours Could Hurt South Australians

“Existing trading hours in South Australia should be retained to maintain healthy competition in the South Australian economy, to ensure that small, independent businesses within the state are not put out of business, and that more money and jobs are retained within the South Australian economy.”

A new report by the McKell Institute has found that there is no compelling case for deregulating trading hours in South Australia. Here are the key reasons why trading hours shouldn’t be deregulated.

1. Longer trading hours = limited family time

 According to a survey conducted by the McKell Institute, 64% of South Australians believe that public holidays are reserved for leisure and recreation with the family.

Deregulating trading hours would mean that shops would be able to open on most public holidays, meaning retail workers could be forced to give up valuable time that they would usually spend with their families.

2. It won’t create jobs

According to the McKell Institute report, there is no substantial evidence that deregulation will lead to job creation. The report suggests that deregulating trading hours could hurt local, independently owned businesses and as a result, have an adverse effect on employment in these businesses.

3. Deregulation will hurt independent retailers

 “Independent supermarkets in South Australia currently hold 32% of South Australia’s market share… this could change if larger supermarkets expand their reach in the Adelaide Metropolitan Area” – McKell Institute

South Australian independent businesses play an important role in South Australia retail sector and also provide consumers with greater choice. If trading hours are deregulated, major retailers would be able to be open for longer, meaning these local businesses could be forced out of the market at the expense of South Australia’s economy.

4. Less choice for consumers = higher prices

If independent retailers are forced to shut down as a result of deregulation, South Australian shoppers could be faced with less choice when doing their weekly shopping. Less choice means a reduction in competition which could lead to major retailers being able to drive up the prices of everyday essentials.. At a time when the cost of living continues to rise and wage growth is at a record low, the last thing South Australians need is for the cost of their groceries to increase unnecessarily.


You can read the full report here.