Business owners, employees and shoppers show support.

Shopping at the sales on Boxing Day is set to continue across NSW as the government moves to legislate Boxing Day trade across the state following a successful two-year trial.

Before the trial only a small number of store locations were allowed to open on Boxing Day. However, feedback from an independent review of business owners, employees and shoppers showed the extension to trading hours resulted in a level playing field for retailers.

“Until we introduced these reforms in 2015, the people of Western Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and many part of regional NSW had to miss out on getting a Boxing Day bargain close to home, while people closer to the CBD had that opportunity – that situation was simply unfair,” NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet said in a statement.

“After a two-year trial and a comprehensive review, we now know there is clear support for giving all retailers the option of opening their doors on one of the biggest trading days of the year, provided staff are given a free choice as to whether they will work or not. Our position strikes a sensible balance, giving retailers and their employees the freedom to work if they want to, but also putting in place strict sanctions to ensure they are not pressured to do so,” the minister said.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said the announcement is great news for NSW retailers as “it not only gives retailers a chance to increases their sales it allows physical stores to compete with online and interstate retailers. Consumers want to shop on Boxing Day and retailers want to trade, it’s as simple as that”.

The government will work with retailers and unions to develop an information campaign ahead of Boxing Day 2017. Legislation to enable the 2015 reforms to continue will be introduced in the coming months.