By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Retail stores should take note this weekend of the shift to daylight savings time. Four states and one territory will be shifting this weekend, which will mean changes to service hours, and to interstate commerce activity.

On Sunday morning, residents in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory will move their clocks forward one hour at 2am. Western Australian daylight savings time will commence on Sunday 26 October 2008. Queensland and the Northern Territory do not have daylight savings time.

For retailers, this means that proprietors, owners and managers in affected states need to be aware that, if they open for Sunday trading, they are at the store and ready to open on time. Additionally, display stock which features time readouts, such as DVD and Blu-ray players, and iPod docks, should be adjusted at close of business Saturday night.

Once states begin adopting daylight savings, businesses involved in interstate commerce should note the changes in time difference. Queensland will move one hour behind the East Coast states, and 30 minutes behind South Australia. Western Australia will be three hours behind NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT until they too implement daylight savings time. From that point they will be two hours behind. At that time, Queensland will be one hour ahead of Western Australia until Autumn.

Queensland readers should also note that, as NSW is adopting daylight savings time this Sunday morning, the NRL Grand Final will commence at 4pm, Queensland time. Retailers who need to plan around this event, which is extremely popular in Queensland, should note the difference between the local starting time and the NRL’s advertised NSW starting time.

In related news, NSW, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory will be celebrating the Australian workers’ movement with their state’s Labour Day public holidays this Monday 6 October. In all other states, and the Northern Territory, Monday will be an ordinary working day.