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Dramatic Fall In Number Of Visitors To Shopping Centres After Sunday Retail Restrictions Take Effect

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.03.31.

On the second Sunday (22 March) since the law restricting retail activity took effect, the number of visitors to shopping malls with cinemas fell to less than half of previous levels, the daily newspaper Napi Gazdaság has reported.

The Secretary-General of the Hungarian Association of Shopping Centres told the paper that in the case of shopping malls including cinemas, 17 to 26 per cent of retail units remain open on Sundays, while the figure is ten per cent for shopping centres without cinemas.

Most of the units that remain open on the last day of the week are restaurants, followed by service providers and stores for which the law does not apply, such as hairdresser’s, cinemas, pharmacies, shops with a floor area below 200 square metres staffed by the proprietor or a family member). 22 March was the first day the “actual” effect of the law could be observed because most stores are closed anyway on 15 March, Hungary’s national holiday, and on 29 March, many shops opted for the possibility of opening on one Sunday outside of the Advent period.

photo: MTI/László Róka