Monday, 5 April 2010

Repugnant transactions in New Zealand

Al Roth at his Market Design blog has a posting on Repugnant transactions in New Zealand: Easter Sunday sales. He quotes from the NZ Herald:
"The number of shops found to be trading illegally over the Easter weekend appears to be similar to last year, the Department of Labour says. The Department will consider the prosecution of 38 retailers after 19 were caught trading on Good Friday and another 19 on Easter Sunday.

"The issue of Easter trading hours remained a contentious issue this year, with business owners calling for more clarity on the laws. Auckland business advocate Cameron Brewer, who was lobbying this year for changes to the law, said "confusion reigned high" as some towns were banned from trading while others were not. Licensed premises, cafes, gardening and hardware stores were also a problem, he said. "Cafes can open if they have ready-to-eat food, but what is ready-to-eat food? More and more hardware stores, most of which have big gardening departments, are opening and facing $1000 fines, even though gardening shops can legally open on Easter Sunday. "This weekend there has been more confusion and frustration than ever before around Easter trading laws. It can't go on any longer."
Personally I don't find Easter trading at all repugnant, in fact I'm all in favour of it. I wonder just how many people really do find Easter trading repugnant. Perhaps we should do a comparison of the number of people who went to church over Easter versus the number of people who went shopping over Easter. The obvious solution is just let any business who wants to trade over Easter do so. Or do the Churches just not like competition when it comes to what people can do with their time.

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