P.M. Briefing : English Stores Defy Sunday Laws

From Times Wire Services

Hundreds of stores in England and Wales opened in defiance of Sunday trading laws, taking advantage of one of the last two shopping days before Christmas.

The open violations of the law, in some cases advertised in the newspapers, followed similar openings last week. For the large stores, drawing thousands of customers, the fines levied against them are not a hardship.

Some managers reported “absolutely fantastic” business, the shop-workers’ union said it wasn’t fair to the staffs and the Keep Sunday Special campaign said people were complaining that the shop openings disrupted family life.

The issue of Sunday trading has been controversial for years. Prime Minister John Major said in Parliament last week that the time is approaching for talks to find a compromise.