SUNDAY shopping returns this weekend to large stores and commercial centres in designated tourist areas of the Valencian Community.

Prior to 2018, stores in tourist areas were allowed to open all week until the Valencian government imposed a six month closure from the New Year through to mid-June with a few exemptions including Easter.

The administration said the move would allow ‘shopworkers to have a day of rest with their families for six months a year’.

One supermarket worker however told the Olive Press at the time that he was ‘missing out on important overtime payments that supplemented his income’.

The only shops allowed to open all year on a Sunday are units with less than 300 m2 of space, in addition to petrol stations, newsagents, bakeries, and convenience stores.

This Sunday’s reopening has been welcomed by the National Association of Large Distributors(ANGED).

Its Valencia spokesman, Joaquin Cervero, said that figures show that Sunday is either the second or third busiest shopping day of the week.

“In 2023 the Valencian Community will receive 30 million tourists who will spend more than €10 billion with much of that going to stores,” he stated.

Retailers in tourist areas like the Costa Blanca have lobbied for a return to pre-2018 rules and have also emphasised the importance of money being pumped into the local economy.

There is also a situation where residents in the Vega Baja area of Alicante province simply drive over the border to Murcia to pack out shopping centres who have no opening restrictions.

The issue may well be reviewed when the Partido Popular and Vox take over the running of the Valencian government in July.

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