Could Woolworths Bowen open on Sundays?
WOOLWORTHS says they would support an expansion of its trading hours to allow regional stores, like the one in Bowen, to open for customers on Sunday.
However the Bowen Chamber of Commerce chairman isn't sure Sunday trade is necessary for the "big players" in Bowen, and believes the gap in the market is already filled by other retailers.
Currently, Queensland Government legislation prohibits 12 Woolworths stores across regional areas of the state from opening on Sundays.
A Woolworths spokesman said they would support the introduction of Sunday trade in Bowen.
"We believe all our Queensland customers should have access to greater flexibility to shop for essential food and groceries when it suits them," the spokesman said.
"We would support the expansion of trading hours to allow regional stores to open for customers on Sunday.
"We would also be able to offer local team members the opportunity to work additional hours."
Bowen Chamber of Commerce chairman Bruce Hedditch said he had been thinking of Sunday trade in the Bowen community for quite some time, but didn't believe it was necessary for businesses to extend their hours in regional communities yet.
"I could understand why some of the big players would like to trade on a Sunday as they have so much investment, but I just don't think country areas need it at this stage," he said.
"We do have independent retailers or smaller businesses who have made the decision to open on Sunday already.
"Those that do trade currently on a Sunday have figured out it's sustainable and profitable for them, but Bowen just doesn't have the population numbers to do that for every outlet."
Mr Hedditch said it was difficult to run a profit during Sunday trade and used his own business, the Larrikin Hotel, as an example.
"Sundays are hard to break-even because of wages and the chance that more people are out and about doing recreational activities," he said.
"It's great to have the opportunity to have more customers come through the door, but everyone might not do well because of it.
"If we saw a rise in the population of Bowen I think then would be a good time for businesses, including those large players like Woolworths and Target who currently can't trade, to reassess their approach to Sunday trade."