Why this rag trader will open for longer on Sundays

The Australian, August 31, 2017

Krystel Davis-English, who founded Australian clothing brand Ixiah in 2012, welcomed the reduction in weekend penalty rates when it came into effect at the end of the last financial year, and says she would now consider extending her Sunday opening hours from five hours to six or seven.

“Especially now it’s coming up to summer we will definitely be opening longer,” she said.

“It’s daylight savings, there’s more people around and it’s more affordable to have that extra opening time.”

Ms Davis-English said she understood why Sunday was still treated as a special day.

“Definitely on a Saturday I think penalty rates are unnecessary, even time-and-a-half,” she said.

“But on a Sunday you do need that extra incentive. I know it seems a bit old-fashioned, but I still appreciate that it’s a day for spending time with family.”

After The Australian revealed that more than 410,000 workers had their Sunday penalty rates cut due to union deals, Ms Davis-English said smaller businesses were at a disadvantage.

“It’s definitely tough for smaller-scale retailers but I also understand the reasons behind it,” she said.

But she added: “If I was in a bigger organisation I’d be cutting those deals, too, because they’ve got a bigger sense of loss if they do lose money, and more risk, more responsibility and bigger outlays in every scope.

“It really does depend on how you look at it.”

The 34-year-old business owner runs a store in Sydney’s stylish shopping district of Paddington and persists with opening on a Sunday despite the higher rates of pay and fluctuating levels of foot traffic.

“We still don’t think it’s worth it for our business to have its doors closed on a Sunday,” said Ms Davis-English.

“Sure, it’s a risk because sometimes the weather can really dictate the amount of customers.

“But you never know who might come in.”