Fabian Demicoli

On meeting consumer’s demands on May 1st

Today retailing is not only straight forward shopping but is also an opportunity that many families use as an outing. This is especially so on Saturdays and other days when children are at home.  Malta has few shopping centres with retails establishements were families can visit for leisure and also shop.


A complete weekend without shopping is today a punishment to many consumers and especially young families with children and a tremendous loss of business for all those who have invested heavily in the new retail establishments, super markets and shopping complexes. These shopping complexes, super markets and retail establishments are spending millions in investment to offer a wide variety of options to satisfy the consumer`s need.

The traditional belief that what is not spent on Saturday will be spent on another day is not as sound as it used to be as many consumers spend on impulse and many others for a number of reasons are restricted from going out  on  any other normal shopping day.

When GRTU requested Government to emend the rules and allow retailers that so disired to open on May1st  2010, GRTU took this and many other considerations before proposing the change. There was no real reason why Government refused the advice of Malta's National Retailers representative and adhere to its silly conservative use.

In spite of Government's negative decision in refusing GRTU's request made on behalf of the retailing community and the request of the Consumers Association made on behalf of consumers who also argued that retail outlets should open on Saturday May 1st, GRTU has sent to members information as to which sectors and in which localities are allowed to open.

In addition GRTU also informed members that those wishing to open can do so through the application to organise a Commercial Fair under the Trade Licensing Act Cap 441/2002 and Subsidiary Legislation. A €698.81 fee is paid for every outlet covering 7days normal opening hrs with the difference that during these seven days you can remain open until 11.p.m. The application can be obtained from the Trade Department. 

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