RESIDENTS and visitors have longer to shop with Millicent’s supermarkets opening their doors for Sunday trading ahead of the festive season, but one retailer will be happy to revert back to the town’s restricted regime.
Foster’s Foodland store manager Dave Foster said he was comfortable to open on Sundays in the lead up to Christmas, but extended hour trading was not feasible after the holidays.
The town’s three regulated stores – Foster’s, Woolworths and Target Country – have been granted State Government approval to trade on Sunday for four weeks.
Millicent is currently the only country town which has restrictions on shop trading under legislation dating back to the 1920s.
The Millicent Business Community Association, on behalf of the three stores, has applied for an exemption from the State Government to allow the regulated shops to open in the busy Christmas period.
Mr Foster said the store supported opening on Sundays to provide consumers with another option to shop during the festive season.
“We definitely do not get as many people on Sunday,” he said.
“In the long-term, we could not open seven days a week – it’s just not a viable option for us, Millicent’s not big enough to support three supermarkets.”
Mr Foster said the store has recently undertaken upgrades, buoyed by the failure of the State Government’s proposed changes to shop trading hours.
He said the supermarket’s recently upgraded refrigeration system would cut down on energy costs.
“Next year we’re also getting dairy cabinets so we can also conserve energy that way,” he said.
“It will also mean the store is not so cold.”
Treasurer Rob Lucas is reportedly considering a second attempt at changing the state’s “dog’s breakfast” shopping hour laws, but needs the support of SA-Best and independent John Darley, with Labor steadfast in their opposition to any changes.
While SA-Best were among the biggest supporters of maintaining the status quo in Millicent, parliamentarian Frank Pangallo has since said any plans the government has to revamp shopping laws should include independent supermarkets being able to sell alcohol.
The South Eastern Times has contacted SA-Best for comment.