If, due to the lockdown, consumers do not go to the local retailer but digitally to the online shop, there is a fire on the roof for local shops. “However, the Austrians tend to dislike the Sunday opening hours as a certain form of compensation for lost sales: only a good third supports the exemption on the two Advent Sundays after the lockdown. The remaining almost two thirds, however, have little to gain from the proposal, ”says Market Agent Managing Director Thomas Schwabl, giving an initial insight into the survey results.
(K) A plus for retail?
A good 3 out of 10 respondents go one step further and don’t give up the idea of Sunday opening times. “Benefits? It doesn’t exist, ”is her simple judgment. The rest, however, see positive aspects. In the first place for 37 percent of Austrians is a higher turnover for the trade, which could be achieved through the additional shopping days. One in three recognizes the possibility of at least compensating for the loss in sales due to the lockdown. In practical terms, 3 out of 10 think that the Sunday opening would not only allow more flexible purchases, but also redistribute the flow of customers, which could reduce the burden on retailers on Saturdays. A good 27 percent also have advantages for the domestic economy in mind: The additional shopping opportunities could have positive effects in this regard and reduce the losses to foreign online retailers.
However, a look at the assessment of the possible disadvantages shows that the skepticism towards the potential Sunday opening times shapes the opinion of the population.
The respondents are particularly concerned about trade employees: almost 6 out of 10 fear a negative impact on their family life and a generally greater burden. “In addition, their Sunday is sacred to Austrians as a weekly“ day of rest for everyone ”. For 58 percent, it is inconceivable that this could be lost. As a result, the prospect of a limited Sunday opening in Advent for half of them also represents a serious risk that regular Sunday opening times could develop from it, ”explains Lisa Patek, Marketing Manager at Marketagent.
4 out of 10 also criticize this regulation as a further step towards the “consumer society”. Only 6 percent cannot see any disadvantage in a possible opening of trade on the two Sundays after the lockdown.
Shopping behavior at a Sunday opening
In order to determine the added value of the Sunday opening hours, it is finally essential to take a look at the use of this offer by domestic consumers. From today’s perspective, only just under one in four respondents would take advantage of the additional shopping days. More than three quarters, however, state that they do not want to go to a shop on the two Sundays in Advent. “Whether Austrians would go on a shopping trip is primarily a question of age: the younger the respondents, the greater the proportion of people who would use the shopping opportunity on Sunday,” added Schwabl. The additional opening times would be by far the most interesting in grocery stores (68%), also in drugstores and perfumeries (43%), for more than 4 out of 10 in shoe stores and for a good third in hardware stores or garden centers as well as in electronics ) Specialist trade. However, only a good 3 out of 10 perceive the possible regulation as an incentive to increasingly shop in stationary instead of online retail. 59 percent see no additional motivation here to shop locally.
Whether the Sunday opening hours will actually become a reality is still in the stars and is currently difficult to assess. 44 percent believe that this will happen, while the other respondents doubt it.
Non-food in supermarkets: half advocate more fairness
In order to create fairer conditions for the currently closed trade, another measure would be conceivable for a little more than every second Austrian during the lockdown: While electronics stores, hardware stores and the like are closed, some grocery stores also sell non-food items Disadvantage for the specialized shops. Half of the respondents advocate foregoing the sale of such goods by the grocery store, but the other half see no reason to do so.