Back in July, I wrote about a debate going on regarding shops opening on Sundays. Outside of restaurants, coffee shops, and some grocery stores, most businesses here in Utrecht remained closed by law. Despite a referendum (with around 65% being opposed to Sunday openings), the city council voted this past Thursday to allow Sunday openings of all stores.
Opinion remains divided and there was lamenting that this past Sunday would be the last quiet one to be had. The new openings begin this weekend on the 17th. The vote broke down to some of the left-leaning parties voting in favor of the shopping Sundays, while more of the Christian/right-wing parties seemed in favor of keeping stores closed. Yet there are many people who support the shops staying closed who don’t base their decision on religious beliefs. I myself would have preferred that we stick to the first Sunday of the month as the sole shopping Sunday and leave the rest of the month to a quieter city center, as we’ve had.
In theory, the daily shopping will perhaps make things easier for some people who are unable to get everything done during the week or on Saturday. After all, most shops close early during the week, except for Thursdays. On the other hand, there is concern that the Sunday openings won’t be a problem for larger stores, but may present difficulties for smaller stores.
We’ll have to wait and see how it works out, although I can’t imagine them voting to go back to just one koopzondag (shopping Sunday) a month. Looks like I may need to get out earlier to enjoy the peace and quiet on Sundays from now on.