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And so it begins...weeks on end of high drama, of nerve-jangling apprehension and nail-biting tension, of displays of human endeavour and endurance taken to the limit, of dreams of glory and, perhaps ultimately, of bitter frustrations and disappointments. Yes, there's little doubt that DIY retailers are looking at a challenging time from now through to the beginning of September.

For a start, while a lot of people are enjoying themselves at a big bash in the capital and everyone else in the country is installed in front of their TVs watching them, they must be wondering just how easy it's going to be to keep customers coming through their doors.

UK retailers have been promised a multi-million pound boost from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. But while shops selling the likes of Games-themed giftware, patriotic partyware and sportswear will understandably benefit, it's maybe too much to hope that we'll see many sheds being painted or bathroom projects finished during the men's triple jump.

Added to that, DIY retail businesses potentially face an unhappy situation with staff throughout the Olympic period and beyond.

For eight weeks from July 22, Sunday trading restrictions on larger stores in England and Wales are being lifted, meaning, of course, not only that employees will be working longer and harder but also having less of the time that would normally be spent with their families.

Not surprisingly, their union, Usdaw, is very much opposed to the relaxation of the Sunday trading times, saying that the vast majority of shop workers are against having to work longer hours.

It's true that they've had the opportunity to opt out of the Sunday working, and yet many are sure to have felt the pressure of expectations on them to turn up and there's bound to be a certain amount of resentment.

One member of the industry posted a comment on recently, claiming that employees were being forced to work the longer hours, the inducement being to "celebrate the Olympics". "...would if had time off!!" was his ironic retort.

The arbitration and conciliation service Acas has urged employers to look kindly on staff for the duration of the Games. It encourages those running businesses to consider flexible working hours for their employees and to be generous over requests for leave. It seems likely, though, that within some retail operations this just isn't going to happen.

The Olympics may be all about having fun - but they certainly mean some fun and games ahead for the DIY industry.
View User Profile for Jane Oliphant Blog entries from Jane Oliphant, DIY Week and consultant editor

Posted by Jane Oliphant | 30 July 2012 | 17:31 | More from: Consultant editor's blog


Published prior to March 2014
By George F Slinger, chairman, Birchgrove Garden C
Congratulations, you were spot on with your analysis for the coming months in your leader this week, its Saturday afternoon , its warm, its dry and like so many other business's outside of London I suspect the Garden Centre is almost empty so those in Government who thought we would be busy during this wonderful string of events is oh so wrong, they said we would benefit from the Jubilee celebrations by having an extra Bank Holiday but that did not happen now this, we have even been given the right to trade all day and all night on Sundays during this time but nobody seems to want anything in this part of Lincolnshire, if the powers that be would listen we don't need to be open for longer when big television events are on we want to open on Easter Sunday when its the time when everybody and his dog are out sorting out the garden, when we are at our busiest and when there is no other distraction. Please listen you powers that be and get it sorted.
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