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shopping hours

Shopping Hours

Customs and regulations for shopping hours (times that shops are open) vary from country to country.

Shopping days and impact of holidays

Some countries do not allow Sunday shopping. In Islamic countries some shops are closed on Fridays. In Israel many shops are closed on Friday evening and Saturday during daytime

Each state in Australia sets its own standard trading hours, but in most of the country the shops are open seven days a week for at least part of the day.

For some shops and other businesses Christmas Day is the only day in the year that they are closed.

In the US a shop may often be open all days of the year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day (most often - virtually everything closes on that day in virtually all communities), and Easter Sunday, although in smaller communities many stores will be closed on all Sundays.

In Islamic countries shops may have special opening hours during Ramadan.


Supermarket trading hours in Australia are regulated by individual states and territories

The states of Victoria and Tasmania are the only states in Australia to completely deregulate laws on shopping hours. All retail businesses in the states, regardless of size or product offer are able to stipulate their trading hours to suite their individual customer demand (although most businesses still close on Christmas Day and Good Friday). The two main supermarket operates Woolworths and Coles generally trade between 6am and 12 midnight 7 days a week, although some inner-city stores in Victoria operate 24 hours a day.

Shopping Hours in South Australia are still regulated. however the state government has passed numerous changes to relax the laws. Despite these changes retailers still face complicated and confusing trading laws, which stipulate trading hours based on size and product offer. Supermarkets, which trade with less than 7 workers and with a trading floor less than 500m² are exempt from the laws. Larger supermarkets are required by law to close at 9 p.m. on weekdays, 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and are only permitted to trade between 11 am and 5 p.m. on Sundays.

In rural areas of Western Australia trading laws are governed by local district councils, and many have permitted Sunday trading in their districts. Shopping Hours in the states capital Perth are regulated by laws similar to South Australia. Trading hours are stipulated in law, and are based on size and product offer. As in South Australia, smaller supermarket retailers are exempted. Larger supermarkets are required to close at 6 p.m. on weekdays, 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and are forced to remain closed on Sundays (except in the Perth CBD).


Regular opening hours: Monday 11 am-6 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday: 9:30 am-6 p.m.; Saturday: 9:30-5 p.m.; Sunday (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and smaller tourist towns): 12-5 or 6 p.m.. In many other towns shops are open every first Sunday of the month.

Each shop is allowed to stay open until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Some DIY-stores and Ikea stay open until 9 p.m.. Most towns have their weekly shopping evening (koopavond), when shops stay open until 9 p.m., either on Thursday or Friday. Supermarkets usually remain open until 8, 9 or 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 6 or 8 p.m. on Saturdays. In some towns supermarkets are open Sundays between 10 am-6 p.m.. Many towns have one or more little supermarkets (avondwinkels) that are open until later in the evening, occasionally all night. Convenience stores also have longer shopping hours; they are at many larger railway stations and some busy streets.

A regular size supermarket that is open until midnight seven days a week is the Food Village at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam (located in the area of the airport before ticket checks, hence not only for air travellers).


Shopping days and opening hours in Germany are regulated by a federal law, the "Shop Closing Law" (Ladenschlußgesetz), first enacted in 1956 and last revised on March 13, 2003. In general, from Monday through Saturday, shops may not open prior to 6 a.m. and may not stay open later than 8 p.m.. Shops are also obliged to close all day on Sundays and public holidays (both federal and state), and special rules apply concerning Christmas Eve (December 24) when that day falls on a workday. There are, however, several exceptions. For example, gas stations (Tankstellen) and shops located in train stations and airports may stay open past the normal hours; some gas stations in larger cities and especially on the Autobahn are open 24 hours a day. Shops in so-called "tourist zones" may also be open outside the normal hours, although they are restricted to selling souvenirs, handcrafted articles and similar tourist items. In connection with fairs and public market days, communities are allowed four days per year (normally Sundays) when shops may be open outside the normal restrictions, however such shop openings may not take place during primary church services and must close by 6 p.m.. Bakeries may open for business at 5:30 am and may also open for a limited time on Sundays. Restaurants, bars, theaters, cultural establishments, etc. are generally unaffected by the shop-closing restrictions. As most public holidays in Germany are religiously based, and since the religious holidays (Protestant and Catholic) are not uniform across Germany but instead vary from state to state (depending on whether Protestants or Catholics are predominant), stores in one state may be closed while on the same day may be wide open in a neighboring state.

The shop-closing law has been the subject of controversy in recent years, as larger stores (and many of their customers) would prefer to have less restrictions on their hours of operation, while the trade unions, small shop owners and the church are opposed to a further loosening of the rules. On June 9, 2004, the German Supreme Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) rejected a claim by the German department store chain Kaufhof AG that the shop-closing law was unconstitutional. Among other things, the court cited Article 140 of the German constitution (Grundgesetz) (which in turn invokes Article 139 of the 1919 Weimar Constitution) protecting Sundays and public holidays as days of rest and recuperation. However, the court in effect invited the Federal parliament (Bundestag) to reconsider whether the states (Länder) and not the federal government should regulate shop-closing hours.

United States

In the U.S., the government does not regulate when stores have to close thus shopping hours vary widely based on management considerations and customer needs. Key variables are the size of the metropolitan area, the type of store, and the size of the store. In major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, many drugstores and supermarkets are routinely open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, while department stores, shopping centers and most other large retailers are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and often with shorter hours on Sundays — generally 11 a.m. or noon to 5 or 6 p.m. On holidays, the tendency is to remain open (with the exception of the most important holidays like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day where stores are generally closed), often maintaining normal hours for that day unless local or regional laws dictate otherwise.

Most locations of the country's largest retailer, Wal-Mart (especially its Supercenter hypermarkets), are open continuously except on Christmas Day, unless local laws dictate otherwise. Many stores in the U.S., such as the Meijer hypermarket chain, will in fact advertise "Open 24/7 364 days a year," implying that the store is open at all times except Christmas Day. Other hypermarket chains tend to follow Wal-Mart's lead, although not always remaining open around the clock (hours such as 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. are common). Boutiques and smaller shops often close early at 5 or 6 p.m. (occasionally with one late evening, usually Thursday or Friday), and may be closed one or two days per week (most often Sunday).

In many smaller cities and rural towns, there are strong religious traditions that cause most local retailers to stay closed on Sunday, and the few that are open may have reduced hours. However, many of the same communities will have at least one Wal-Mart that is open around the clock.

Las Vegas, Nevada is the notable exception to all the traditions just described. Las Vegas is world-famous for its 24-hour local culture, since it is a city with large gaming and tourism industries that operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since most of the employees in the city's primary industries work overnight shifts and because Nevada has absolutely no laws in regards to operating hours for any type of commerical activity — many businesses cater to such workers. Thus, Las Vegas is home to many 24-hour car dealerships, dental clinics, auto mechanics, computer shops, and even some smaller clothing stores.

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