Sunday Trading Ban in Poland: Reflection After Three Years
Purpose: The paper examines two perspectives of shopping hours regulations, the theoretical background, and experiences from selected European countries. Particular focus is on the Sunday trading ban that took effect in Poland in 2018. It was implemented gradually over three years. However, determining the impact of the introduction of the restriction on the economy is a tough challenge, both for science and the business community. This is mainly due to dynamic economic challenges, innovations implemented in retailing, which significantly change the way services are delivered. The paper aims to provide an overview of international experience, which may help understand the possible impact of Sunday trading regulations. The theoretical discussion and international empirical evidence show that the dynamics involved in changing Sunday trading rules can work in different directions. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper presents international experiences of shopping hours regulations and focuses on the Polish market's case study. Findings: The analysis showed that regulations on opening hours and Sunday trading ban on the economy and retail sector are mixed and uncertain. In Poland, the effects of the Sunday trading ban are not possible due to the consequences of the COVID pandemic (2020-2021) and additional restrictions in economic activity that were introduced. Practical Implications: Two years after introducing restrictions on Sunday trade in Poland, structural and qualitative changes in retailing are observed. The author argues that these changes will result from the COVID pandemic and the implications of innovative retail processes are to be expected soon. They will be mainly targeted at the use of online commerce, the development of unattended sales forms, and possibly reducing the importance of large-scale retail outlets. Originality/Value: The author points out that the relationship between these regulations and innovations in trade should be added to the traditional approach to the analysis of trade working hours regulation. In this sense, the article has the value of a new, original analysis.