Call for shops to be able to stay open later

The Young Liberals (JF) are currently collecting signatures in support of an initiative to ensure shops stay open later. This is not the first time they have done so, a previous proposal having been rejected in a referendum in 2002.

At present, shops in Zug are open until 7pm during the week and until 5pm on Saturdays. If the JF get their way, shops will be able to be open from 6am until 8pm on weekdays, and until 6pm on Saturdays.

According to Gian Brun, the leader of the JF, at present just 500 more signatures are needed to reach the required figure of 2,000. “More flexible working hours and modern family structures mean that an increasing number of the people of Zug want to go shopping in the evenings,” he said, adding how this was much evident by the queues at shops at the railway station and petrol stations, which do not have to adhere to the same regulations other shops do. “Naturally it would be up to shopkeepers themselves to decide if they wanted to stay open until later,” he said, thinking, too, that, if they were open later, more people would do their shopping here in the canton.

The JF also enjoy support from the Trades Association of the Canton of Zug (GVKZ), who voted unanimously for shops to be able to stay open until later at their last meeting. “We feel there is definite demand on the part of the public for shops to stay open for an extra hour,” said Roland Staerkle, the chairman of the GVKZ. “You can see this by the way people shop at the station,” he added. Support was also forthcoming from the Trades Association of the City of Zug, as confirmed by its chairman, Felix Kalt. However, the Zug businesses umbrella organisation, the Pro Zug Association, preferred to wait until after their next meeting at the end of this month prior to coming to a decision on the matter, as its chairwoman, Johanna Margraf, confirmed.

Looking back to 2002, locals rejected enabling shopkeepers to stay open until later by 54.5 per cent, most thinking shops being able to stay open until 7pm was sufficient.

Another campaign called “One Hour Longer”, also initiated by the JF in 2015, was put on ice after a proposal for all shops in the country to be able to open between 6am and 8pm on weekdays and 6am and 6pm on Saturdays was debated in the national parliament in 2016. However, it was rejected by the Council of States. Hence this new attempt by the JF to collect signatures. As to the remaining 500 needed, the JF hopes to collect them by the summer.

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