Calls for Constitutional Review of Slovenia’s Sunday Shopping Ban

By , 29 Nov 2020, 12:17 PM Business
Calls for Constitutional Review of Slovenia’s Sunday Shopping Ban Wikimedia, Moritz Zimmermann CC-by-SA-2.5 Generic

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STA, 27 November 2020 - The Constitutional Court has so far received three initiatives to review the amendment to the retail act that stipulates that almost all shops must be closed on Sunday, one of them having been filed by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (TZS).

The website of Slovenia's top court shows that three initiatives have been filed against the measure which entered into force in late October after the National Assembly passed the relevant changes in late September.

The exemptions to the blanket ban include shops under 200 m2 at service stations, border crossings, ports, airports, train and bus stations, and hospitals.

Outside these facilities, shops with a surface area of under 200 m2 may be open, but only shop owners, students and pensioners
may work Sundays, regular employees may not.

That the TZS has filed one of the initiatives has been confirmed by its president Mariča Lah, who has told the STA that it was individual companies within the chamber that had opted for the move.

Magistrat International, the company owning the Emporium stores in the BTC shopping district and in the centre of Ljubljana, recently confirmed for the business newspaper Finance that it had filed one of the initiatives.

Lidl Slovenija has meanwhile told the STA that it was still sorting out the details, so it was not able to tell whether it would join the campaign.

The retailer added that it had "very clearly expressed the position that Lidl Slovenija does not oppose the closure of shops on Sundays in principle", and that this had been also discussed with the employees a few months ago.

The company noted that competitiveness on the market should nevertheless be ensured. "This means that the closure should also be in force for all other companies in retail, including petrol stations and bakeries."

The retailer Hofer said that it also intended to file a request for constitutional review, "as we advocate for the conditions for Sunday work to be equal for all stakeholders".

Spar Slovenija said it had participated in the campaign for constitutional review, adding that "it is discriminatory in our opinion."

The TZS believes that the consequences of the Sunday ban will be devastating as the economy is also facing the coronavirus crisis.

Lah has assessed that, as the opening hours have been reduced by 16%, revenue would drop by at least 10% under the assumption that part of, and not all purchases, would be distributed among the remaining days of the week.

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