Some business owners in southwest Winnipeg say they are unfazed by the possibility of extended Sunday shopping hours in the province.
In the recent provincial budget, the NDP government announced it will consult with retailers, consumer groups and unions to discuss the prospect of relaxing Manitoba’s Sunday shopping restrictions.
Karen Sigurdson, co-owner of Burton Lysecki Books on Osborne Street, said it will remain business as usual at the landmark bookstore, as she already works enough during the week. The store is currently open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
"We’ll still be open the same time on a Sunday," said Sigurdson, who is also a member of the Osborne South BIZ.
"There’s Burton (Lysecki), me and two part-time staff. I can’t pay them anymore and I already work six days a week. We’re people and we still need to find the time to do things like laundry and grocery shopping," she said.
Sigurdson is happy with the store’s current Sunday hours and thinks noon to 5 p.m. is appropriate for the needs of her customers.
"I think the store should be open on a Sunday afternoon, shopping for books is a civilized thing to do at that time of day. Lots of people are out and about going to church in the morning. I think places like Wal-Mart might benefit from the change more."
Séverine Bonato, owner of fashion boutique A French Touch on Corydon Avenue, said Sunday is her only day off and she doesn’t plan to change that.
"I tried to open on a Sunday for two or three weeks last summer, but I found people would rather eat ice cream and go to a restaurant. People would come in and look quickly, but not really shop," she said.
Bonato, who arrived from France in 2010 to start the business, plans to keep Sunday as her one day off each week.
"I need a day. I do everything myself, so I need one day to get out of here and recharge my mind. It’s important to have one day to myself and spend time with friends," she said, noting her busiest period of the week is Thursday to Saturday.
Paul Karam, co-franchisee of the Subway restaurant in St. Norbert, said he agrees with the idea of relaxing the laws — although it likely won’t impact his business, which is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
"Personally, I think it’s a good thing as it would offer people the choice to shop at different times," he said.