Which supermarkets open late Sunday? Unfortunately, Sunday trading laws mean that the majority of supermarkets are forced to close early on a Sunday. However, you will find a selection of smaller stores open later on a Sunday.
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what Sunday trading laws mean for supermarket opening hours, as well as taking a look at what types of supermarkets you might be able to find open late on a Sunday in the UK.
Why Do Supermarkets Close At 4 On Sundays?
To find out why supermarkets close early on a Sunday, we must first understand a little bit about what Sunday trading laws are.
Sunday trading laws refer to the specific regulations which dictate exactly when and how retail businesses can operate on a Sunday.
Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, large retail stores are only allowed to open for sale for a maximum of 6 hours on a Sunday. These 6 hours must fall between the houses of 10am and 6pm.
A large store is defined as being over 280 square metres in size. Most major supermarkets will fall into this category, which is why you won’t find large shops open late on a Sunday.
The Sunday Trading regulations only apply to England and Wales – they do not apply to Scotland. In Scotland, there is no legal limit to how many hours a shop may open on a Sunday – each shop can decide for itself.
Do Supermarkets Have To Close Early On Sundays?
Under Sunday Trading laws, all supermarkets that have a total size of over 280 square metres must close by 6pm on a Sunday. In addition to this, they can only open for trading for a total of six hours.
So, if a large store opens at 10am on a Sunday, they must close by 4pm. If they open at 11am, they must close by 5pm. And if they open at 12pm, they must close at 6pm.
Are Supermarkets Open On Easter Sunday?
In addition to the restrictions of opening times on a Sunday, supermarkets are also unable to open at all on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.
This is because of the Sunday Trading Act (1994 Amendment) Order 2002, which legislates that large stores cannot open on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.
However, smaller stores are allowed to open their doors on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day without any restrictions, if they choose to do so.
Which Stores Are Exempt From Sunday Trading Laws?
Certain stores and retail outlets are exempt from the Sunday trading restrictions. These stores include:
- Those located within airports or railway stations
- Registered pharmacies
- Service stations
- Farms that sell their own produce
- Shops that only or mainly sell car or bicycle supplies
- Exhibition stands
These types of stores may be exempt from the Sunday Trading regulations, even if they exceed the maximum store size. This means that they may be able to remain open after 6pm, or for longer than 6 hours on a Sunday if they choose.
What Supermarkets Are Open Late On Sundays?
If you find that you’ve run out of bread at 6pm on a Sunday, or you’re in desperate need of a pack of nappies for your baby, you might be wondering what supermarkets are open late on a Sunday.
Stores that are smaller than 280 square metres are not subject to the Sunday trading laws, so will often remain open later than 6pm on a Sunday. This could include Tesco Express, Tesco Metro, Sainsbury’s Local or Co-op stores.
Petrol stations are also exempt from Sunday trading law, so will usually be open on a Sunday evening. Whilst they don’t typically stock the same range of products that a larger supermarket might, you’ll usually be able to buy most of the essentials you need to keep you going until the larger supermarkets open on Monday morning.
Local corner shops may also remain open later on a Sunday. This could include Costcutter, Premier, Nisa and One Stop. If you’re unsure, you can usually check online for opening times of your local store before making the journey.
Does Tesco Have Browsing Time On Sunday?
Some supermarkets open early on a Sunday to allow for browsing time. You’ll be able to fill your trolley during that time, but you won’t be able to make any purchases either at a till or a self-service checkout. This is because the supermarket cannot legally make any sales until 10am on a Sunday.
Whilst some Tesco branches may open earlier on a Sunday for browsing, this does not apply to every branch. It’s best to check the individual opening times of your local Tesco store to avoid disappointment.
What Time Does Asda Open On A Sunday?
The majority of Asdas will open at 10am on a Sunday, and close at 4pm. This is due to Sunday Trading regulations. It’s best to check your local supermarket opening times before visiting, to ensure that your local branch will be open when you visit.
Are Petrol Stations Open Late On A Sunday?
The majority of petrol stations are smaller than 280 square metres, along with being classified as a service station. This means that they are exempt from Sunday Trading Laws and are not legally obliged to limit their opening hours on a Sunday.
However, some petrol stations do opt to operate on reduced hours on a Sunday, so it’s always best to check online before you travel.
Are Supermarkets Open On New Year’s Eve?
Most supermarkets will be open on New Year’s Eve, but you might find that some branches close early to allow their staff time to enjoy the festivities. You might find that your local supermarket closes at 7pm on New Year’s Eve to give its employees time to get home and celebrate.
If you need to stock up on food or alcohol on New Year’s Eve, it’s best to go to the shops early to avoid disappointment. Alternatively, check opening hours online and opt to visit small shops or petrol stations that may be open later.
Sunday Trading regulations mean that large shops of over 280 square metres in size are restricted to opening for a maximum of 6 hours a day on a Sunday. These Sunday opening hours must fall between the hours of 10am and 6pm. For this reason, most supermarkets open 10am-4pm on a Sunday.
Whilst you won’t find many supermarkets open late Sunday, there are some smaller stores that may remain open later on a Sunday. This can include Tesco Express, Co-op, Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Metro. It’s always best to check opening hours online before you travel to avoid a wasted trip.