The debate about the ban on Sunday sales is mainly about shopping centers, because many shops in Slovakia are already closed on Sundays, says the head of Martinus Michal Meško. According to him, the ban would not only pay for merchants, who would have to remain closed on Sundays, but also, for example, gastro businesses, which depend on the number of people who come to the center. The parliament should discuss the conservatives’ proposal at the May session.
Meško says that Sunday sales make up to 10 percent of Martinus’ annual turnover, which he has in brick-and-mortar bookstores. He does not expect that closing on Sundays would mean the same drop in sales; part of the sales would be moved to the Internet, for example. “But we are still talking about the fact that no more than half of the sales will be saved this way. The rest will simply leave because the spontaneous purchase on Sunday disappears.”
In the interview, he also says that:
- there are also merchants who would like to be closed on some Sundays due to low sales, but they are not allowed to close in the shopping center;
- the corona has changed people’s shopping behavior, they shop more purposefully;
- it is good that the state created schemes to help entrepreneurs during the pandemic, but it was preceded by chaos and it took a long time;
- that he is a big fan of artificial intelligence, but at the same time he finds it extremely scary.
What is Martinus’ sales on Sunday?
Sunday sales represent up to 10 percent of our annual turnover in brick-and-mortar bookstores, a large part of which is the Sunday before Christmas. For some merchants, Sunday sales make up more than 20 percent of their annual sales. We assume that by banning Sunday sales, part of the sales would be lost and part would be spread over the surrounding days. When buying books, it is often a spontaneous purchase. You’re walking through town or a shopping center, you pass a bookstore and a book catches your eye, and this happens even on Sundays.
Do you go shopping on Sunday?
I’m a big fan of online shopping, but now and then it happens that I need to buy groceries in a brick-and-mortar store. But I’m not a typical Sunday mall goer.
There is again a proposal in the parliament to ban Sunday sales, it is to be discussed at the May meeting. How do you feel that this topic keeps coming back?
Rather, I perceive its political-ideological undertones, and that disturbs me a little in the whole debate. She can also be much more professional and matter-of-fact.
The proponents of the proposal argue that Sunday is already defined in law as a day of rest and that it is enough to leave Saturday for weekend shopping. What do you think?
If Sunday is a day of rest, then why don’t we ban all work?