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 during noon. 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 United States, nearly all retail stores are open all year except for in Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and most stores also on Easter Sunday. Some suburban and smaller communities often close on Sundays. For example, Bergen County, New Jersey which is next to New York City, completely bans Sunday shopping. However, nearly all stores in the United States have restricted hours on Sundays (most often 11 am or noon to 5 - 7 pm), and stores close early on important holidays, such as Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Banks, Post offices and other government offices either are closed on weekends, or close early on Saturdays. Other non-retail remain closed on weekends.

In Canada, stores are open year-round including most public holidays, with shortened hours on Sundays. Usually, the holiday hours are the same as Sunday hours.

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


Store trading hours in Australia are regulated by individual states and territories.

The states of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are the only states in Australia to essentially 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 suit their individual customer demand (although they are required to remain closed on Christmas Day, Good Friday, and (in Tasmania and NSW only) on Easter Sunday, except the Northern Territory which can remain open on any public holiday.). The two main supermarket operators Woolworths and Coles generally trade between 6am and 12 midnight 7 days a week, although some inner-city stores in Sydney & Melbourne operate 24 hours a day. Melbourne generally has the most relaxed rules. Almost all shopping centres in Melbourne now trade late on both Thursdays and Fridays as well as being open longer hours on Sundays. Melbourne is also famous for beginning the trend of 36 hour trading in the lead up to Christmas. Some of the larger shopping centres will open from 8 am until 6 pm on Christmas Eve.

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 fewer than 7 workers and with a trading floor less than 500 m2 are exempt from the laws. Larger supermarkets are required by law to close at 9 pm on weekdays, 5 pm on Saturdays, and are only permitted to trade between 11 am and 5 pm on Sundays.

In all areas of Queensland, trading hours with major supermarkets are 8 am-9 pm Mon-Fri, 8am-5:30 on Saturdays and Sundays trade on 9-6. Most major shopping centres close at 5 every day, with the exception of one night a week with what is so named 'late night shopping.' If a supermarket is to be found in a major shopping center, they will still cease trading at 9 pm, with special access for just the supermarket.

In rural areas of Western Australia below the 27th parallel, local governments nominate shop closing hours to the State government, which, if accepted, are implemented by ministerial order. Shopping hours in the state's capital, Perth, are regulated by laws similar to South Australia's. Trading hours are stipulated in law, and are based on size and product offer. As in South Australia, smaller, independently-operated supermarket retailers are exempted. Chain-store supermarkets are required to close at 9 pm on weekdays, 5 pm on Saturdays, and are forced to remain closed on Sundays (except in the Perth CBD and other special trading precincts, such as Fremantle). On 1 January 2010 new laws came into effect that allow shops including chain-stores like Woolworths Supermarkets and Coles Supermarkets in inner-city localities of Perth to trade until 9 pm on weekdays and also trade on Sundays, from 11 am to 5 pm. However, this applies to areas such as Victoria Park, Leederville, Subiaco, South Perth, Fremantle and the Perth CBD. In April 2010, it was announced that suburban areas within the Fremantle municipality will also be permitted such hours. Previously only its CBD area was allowed such hours. Significant reform to Perth's trading hours was announced by the State government on 22 June 2010, allowing all metropolitan shops to trade until 9 pm on weeknights, following extensive negotiation between the Liberal and Labor parties. This reform came into effect from 1 November 2010, superseding laws that only allowed shops to open until 9 pm on Thursdays for 'late night shopping' ('late night shopping' was on Fridays in the Perth CBD, also until 9 pm.)


A convenience store at a Vienna train station selling Reiseproviant (Travel Provisions), the usual code for expanded opening hours

With the exception of the country being predominantly Catholic rather than Protestant, the German situation very much applies for Austria, too. Until the 1990s, all shops closed on Saturday noon (mostly at 12) and only reopened on Monday morning. Entrepreneurs such as Richard Lugner lobbied for an expansion of shopping hours, and gradually laws are being changed and more and more exceptions granted. Meanwhile, as in Germany, outside regular shopping hours gas stations and train stations of big cities have taken on the role of Nahversorger (supplying the local population with groceries).


Store hours in Canada are regulated by each province or territory, and in some provinces individual municipalities as well.

As a general rule, there is little regulation of shopping hours across the country. In the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as all three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) there are no restrictions at all and stores can open 24/7 365 days a year. As well, Nova Scotia permits any store to open every day of the year except Remembrance Day (November 11).

The remaining provinces (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador) require stores to close on most major holidays. Furthermore, three provinces have further restrictions on Sunday openings. In Manitoba, stores may only open on Sundays with Municipal approval and only then between 12pm-6 pm. New Brunswick only allows Sunday openings year round with both Municipal and Provincial approval, otherwise it is only permitted from August until the New Year. Some communities in New Brunswick (such as the cities of Fredericton and Saint John) restrict Sunday openings to 12pm-5 pm.

The province of Quebec is the only province in Canada that regulates shopping hours outside of Sundays and Holidays. As a general rule, stores are only permitted to open between 8am-9pm Weekdays and 8am-5pm Weekends, excluding holidays. However there are several exceptions, notably with several supermarkets in Montreal that are open later hours or 24 hours.

In practice, few stores in Canada (outside of a small number of grocery stores) remain open 24 hours. Most shopping centres open from 10am-9pm Monday thru Friday, 9:30 am-6 pm (or in some cases 9 pm) on Saturday and 12 pm-5 pm or 6 pm on Sunday. Many larger stores, such as Wal-Mart Canada and most major grocery stores remain open 8a m-10 pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-6pm (in some provinces 8 am-10 pm) on Sunday, except in provinces where further restrictions apply. The Sobeys chain stays open from 7am-11pm on weekdays and Saturdays.


Trading hours in China, including Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions, are commercial decisions and not regulated. The majority of shops open on public holidays. Convenience stores open 24 hours a day and 365/366 days a year.


Shopping hours in Croatia are currently unregulated after the Constitutional Court struck down a ban on Sunday shopping which had been in effect from mid-2008 until mid-2009.[1]

Most large out-of-town supermarkets are open between 07:30/08:00-21:00/22:00, Monday to Sunday. Shopping malls usually open at 09:00 and also close at 22:00, 7 days a week. Smaller supermarkets close earlier on Sundays, typically at 13:00. Other shops in urban areas are generally closed on Sundays.

Bakeries and newspaper kiosks often open very early in the morning, at 05:30 or 06:00, and always open 7 days a week, but not 24 hours a day. Gas stations and convenience stores along major roads as well as some pharmacies (at least one in each major city, five in Zagreb[2]) operate 24 hours a day.


Outside of public holidays, the current law [3] that went into effect in December 2009 permits all retailing venues regardless of size to stay open on weekdays between 07:00–21:00, on Saturdays between 07:00–18:00 and on Sundays between 12:00–18:00. During the Christmas shopping season from the third Sunday of November to 23 December, the Sunday closing hours are extended until 21:00.

Opening hours for stores with a commercial floor area of less than 400 m2 are unregulated, except on public holidays.

On Finnish public holidays, all stores with a commercial floor area of more than 100 m2 are closed. On April 30 (vappuaatto) and the New Year's Eve, the same retailers are permitted to stay open until 18:00, and on the Christmas Eve and the Midsummer eve (juhannusaatto) until 12:00.

There is no closing hour legislation for shops smaller than 100 m2 ("kiosks").

The local Regional State Administrative Agency (aluehallintovirasto) may exempt any retailer in its area from the shopping hour regulations. Therefore, in Helsinki for example, retail shops located in the central Asematunneli and Kamppi shopping centres near city's main traffic hubs are specially permitted to stay open even on public holidays.[3]

Sunday shopping was first introduced in 1994.[4]


Shopping days and opening hours in Germany were previously regulated by a federal law, the "Shop Closing Law" (Ladenschlußgesetz), first enacted in 1956 and last revised on March 13, 2003. The federal government, however, handed over the authority to regulate shopping hours to the sixteen states on 7 July 2006. Since then, states have been allowed to pass their own laws regulating opening hours. The federal Ladenschlussgesetz continues to be valid within states that have not passed their own laws.

Under the old Ladenschlussgesetz, which currently only applies in the states of Bavaria and the Saarland, the general rule was that from Monday to Saturday, shops may not open prior to 6 a.m. and may not stay open later than 8 p.m. Shops were also obliged to close all day on Sundays and public holidays (both federal and state), and special rules applied concerning Christmas Eve (December 24) should that day fall on a weekday. But there were several exceptions. For example, petrol stations (Tankstellen) and shops located in railway stations and airports may stay open past the normal hours; most petrol stations in larger cities and all situated on Autobahns are open 24 hours a day. Shops in so-called "tourist zones" may also open outside the normal hours, although 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 a.m. and may also open for a limited time on Sundays. Restaurants, bars, theatres, and cultural establishments are generally unaffected by the shop opening time restrictions. As most public holidays in Germany are religiously based, and since the religious holidays (Protestant and Catholic) are not uniform across Germany, shops may be closed due to a public holiday in one state, and open in a neighbouring state. Bavaria even differentiates between cities with Protestant or Catholic majorities.

The shop-closing law was the subject of controversy in recent years, as larger stores (and many of their customers) would prefer to have fewer restrictions on their hours of operation, while 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.

No state has so far passed regulation that allows for general store opening on Sundays.

Monday-Saturday: no time restriction; regulation for Sunday varies in different states:

Monday-Friday: no time restriction; regulation for Saturday, Sunday varies in different states:

Monday-Saturday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., regulation for Sunday varies in different states:

States with no liberalisation of opening hours:


According to Greek law (Articles 12 and 13 of 3377/2005)[5] shops can open at any time after 05:00. From Monday to Friday shops may operate until 21:00, and on Saturdays until 20:00. During these hours shop owners may operate (or not) their business as they please. Shops are closed on Sundays. Most local traders associations define common shopping hours for the region, usually:

Monday and Wednesday:

  • 09:00-14:00

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:

  • 09:00-14:00 & 17:00-20:00


  • 09:00-14:00

Usually most shops follow this schedule, with the exception of big stores and malls which operate during the whole permitted time by law. These opening hours do not apply to nightclubs and related establishments, gasoline filling stations, restaurants, patisseries, florist shops, kiosks and shops in the same class as kiosks, photographic studios, retail shops selling only dried fruit and nuts to which special regulations apply (Article 42 of Law 1892/1990 and Article 14 of Law 2194/1994).

In (strictly designated) tourist areas, the (respective) Prefecture may extend the opening hours for certain shops. The Ministry of Tourism must approve the designation of an area as "tourist". Local worker and employer organizations must be consulted before any decision as to the extension of opening hours, but their approval is not required. The decisions must be published in the local daily press.

In practice, shops are also permitted to operate two Sundays in December by order of the Prefecture. Furthermore, as the majority of Greece is designated as an "tourist area", most Prefectures have the ability to extend the opening hours.


Shops in Ireland are, with few exceptions (such as those involved in the sale of alcohol), allowed to open whenever they want - including Sundays and public holidays.

Typical opening hours are:

Monday - Wednesday, Friday, Saturday:

  • 08:00/09:00/10:00 - 17:00/18:00/19:00


  • 08:00/09:00/10:00 - 20:00/21:00/22:00


  • 09:00/10:00/11:00 - 17:00/18:00/19:00

Many supermarkets are open 24 hours, or have longer opening hours (e.g. 08:00 - 22:00) everyday.

Large shopping centres and out-of-town (suburban) centres are typically open longer hours everyday (e.g. 09:00 - 21:00/22:00 weekdays, 09:00 - 19:00 Saturdays, 10:00 - 19:00 Sundays).

In the two weeks running up to Christmas, it is common for many shops to have extended opening hours; some may operate 24 hours a day right until midnight on Christmas Eve.

Most shops (other than petrol stations or convenience stores) in smaller towns and villages don't open at all on Sundays. Almost all shops (again, petrol stations, convenience stores, etc. excepted) are closed on Christmas Day, though most are open on all other holidays.

Convenience stores, petrol stations and some chemists (drugstores) are normally open from early morning (05:00/06:00/07:00) until late night (22:00/23:00/00:00), or often 24 hours, and New Year's Day is also Sunday hours.

In rural areas or in traditional trades, Wednesdays may be a half-day for businesses, closing at 12:30, but this practice has long passed in urban areas.

Alcohol is only allowed to be sold between 10:30 and 22:00 from Monday to Saturday and 12:30 to 22:00 on Sundays - although this does not affect opening hours (for instance, supermarkets will often block access to alcoholic products outside of these times). Alcohol cannot be sold at all on Good Friday.


Regular opening hours: Monday 11:00h - 18:00h; Tuesday-Friday: 09:30h - 18:00h; Saturday: 09:30h - 17:00h; Sunday (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Almere, Leiden and smaller tourist towns): 12 noon - 18:00h. In many other towns shops are open every first Sunday of the month (koopzondag).

Shops are allowed to stay open until 22:00h from Monday to Saturday, however most close at 18:00h on weekdays, and 17:00h on Saturdays. Many supermarkets (including outlets from the market leader Albert Heijn, several DIY-stores and IKEA) stay open until 20:00h, 21:00h or 22:00h. Most towns have their weekly shopping evening (koopavond), when shops stay open until 21:00h, either on Thursday or Friday. In touristic towns (like Amsterdam's city centre) supermarkets are allowed to be open on Sundays between 07:00h and 22:00h. Many towns have one or more 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 ("Albert Heijn to go") 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).

Shops that close on Sundays are usually also closed on public holidays, and other shops tend to have opening hours then like on Sundays. However, on first Christmas Day and New Year's Eve almost all shops are closed.

For specific opening hours ("openingstijden") in the Netherlands there are several websites.[6]


Shopping hours in Serbia are unregulated. Large supermarkets are usually open from 07:00/07:30/08:00 to 22:00 from Monday to Sunday. Shopping malls open at 09:00 or 10:00 and also stay open until 22:00. Smaller supermarkets close earlier on Sundays, at 15:00 or 16:00.

Unlike neighbouring Croatia, many fast food outlets, bakeries, kiosks and convenience stores in urban areas operate 24 hours a day. Even some hypermarkets like Tempo and Metro are open 24 hours.


Shopping hours for Shopping malls are usually from 10:00h to 22:00h from Monday to Sunday. Automotive shops like tyre outlets usually start from 09.30h and end at 19:00h. Some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day. For more information, patrons can find current available services/shops from an online web service in Singapore which is an Opening Hours Directory called (


Shopping hours are governed by cantonal law and vary accordingly, while the only federally mandated store holiday is August 1 (national holiday), as per article 110 III of the Swiss Constitution. Most often, stores will be open from 08-09:00 until 19-20:00, and up until 21-22:00 on one day per week. On Saturdays and days prior to public holidays, most stores close at around 16-17:00. Stores are also generally closed on Sundays; see Sunday shopping in Switzerland.

United Kingdom

In Britain, many retail stores are open 7 days a week. Some large stores are open for 24 hours (except on Sundays in England and Wales.) Some stores do not open on Easter Sunday or Christmas Day.[7]

Typical opening times are:

Mondays - Saturdays: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, or 10:00 am to 8:00 pm/10:00 pm.[8]

Sundays: - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, or 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, or 12 noon to 6:00 pm.

Sunday shopping is popular, and most shops in towns and cities are open for business. Shops 280 m2 and larger in England and Wales are only allowed to trade for 6 hours on Sundays, shops in Northern Ireland may open from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm. In Scotland, in theory, Sunday is considered the same as any other day, so there are no restrictions. However, in practice, some shops do not open on Sunday, or just open for four hours in smaller towns. In some Free Church dominated areas - for example Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, Sunday is considered a day of rest and consequently very few if any shops open at all.

United States

A CVS/pharmacy in New York City that is open 24/7, but remain closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

In the U.S., the various levels of government generally do not regulate the hours of the vast majority of retailers (though there are exceptions, such as blue law), and with the main exception being shops licensed to sell spirits and other alcoholic beverages (for shopping hours, see alcohol sale hours by state) and car dealership. 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.

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 commercial 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.

Typical store opening hours:

  • Monday - Saturday 9 - 10 a.m. to 8 - 9:30 p.m. (9:00 - 10:00 to 20:00 - 21:30)
  • Sunday 11 - 12-noon to 5 - 7 p.m. (11:00 - 12:00 to 17:00 - 19:00)

- Supermarkets stay open for longer hours, usually between 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (8:00 - 22:00) 7 days a week.

- Boutiques and smaller shops often close early at 5 or 6 p.m. (17:00 or 18:00), and usually close once or twice a week, most often on Sunday.

- Nearly all stores are closed on Easter, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

- Early closing (half days) on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Some stores might have reduced hours on other major holidays.

- All malls and department stores, as well as most other stores remain open longer hours between Thanksgiving weekend and night before Christmas Eve for Christmas and Holiday shopping. Many are open until 11 p.m. (23:00), and a few even longer.

- Few stores remain open 24 hours; the main exceptions to this rule are most Walmarts throughout the country (especially Supercenters, which combine a discount store and full supermarket) and some drug stores like CVS, especially in larger cities like New York City and Las Vegas.

- Some stores, especially in suburban and rural areas, might remain closed on Sundays for any reason (such as most retail in Bergen County, New Jersey due to blue law, which is next to New York City, and home to four major malls and has the largest retail in the nation).

See also


External links

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