Sunday shopping will be gradually restricted in Poland. The ruling party has approved draft legislation to force retail businesses to close two Sundays a month next year and for all but a few exceptions in 2020.
The ban on Sunday shopping is backed by labour unions and the Catholic church, but critics warn that it will hurt economic growth and hit corporate profits.
As reported by Bloomberg, Poland’s economy is based largely on domestic consumption, and many companies depend on weekend shopping for a large part of their sales. An example is the country’s largest clothing retailer, LLP SA, where 18% of revenue comes from Sunday shoppers. Household consumption was the main driver of economic growth in the third quarter.
“Any restriction of economic activity, such as retail trade, results in weaker economic growth,” Michal Dybula, a Warsaw-based economic strategist at Bank BGZ BNP Paribas, told Bloomberg. “It may impact the earnings of affected companies, but consumers might also react by stockpiling goods.”
The draft law must now be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed into law by President Andrzej Duda.
In a separate report, the Catholic Herald online noted that the Polish bishops’ conference said the bill did not go far enough, and that everyone should be free from work on Sundays.