Almost a year after shopping hours were deregulated in Greater Sudbury, a grocery store is planning to be open round the clock during the holiday season.
Last year, the Real Canadian Superstore in New Sudbury announced it would open 24 hours a day from Dec. 12 until New Year's Eve. The store will do the same this year, but the start date will be a little later.
“Beginning Friday, Dec. 18 at 6 a.m., the Real Canadian Superstore in Sudbury will be open 24-hours until it closes at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24,” the company said in an email Thursday.
While there was talk that other retailers may also open around the clock, so far only the Superstore has taken that step, and only for the busiest shopping time of the year. Other retailers, however, are staying open later during the holiday period.
Cambrian College marketing professor Brian Vendramin said despite all the publicity surrounding deregulating store hours in the city, not much has changed in practical terms.
"My sense is, it's had very little impact,” Vendramin said. “You just look at the number of stores that have opened 24 hours. Even with Black Friday, with all the hoopla, the (New Sudbury Centre) is only staying open until 11 o'clock.”
After years of debate and failed votes at the council table, shopping hours were deregulated last December after it received majority support in the October 2014 referendum. Also approved was allowing stores to open Boxing Day and on the Civic Holiday in August.
While the move hasn't changed the retail landscape, Vendramin said it was significant nonetheless.
"It was a step that should have been taken years ago,” he said. "The whole 24-hour shopping hasn't caught on, but deregulation of store hours never meant 24-hour shopping.
“It just meant as a retailer, you can choose when you want to open. As we know, people voted to open the stores on Boxing Day – but a lot of people chose to not open their store on Boxing Day. But they had the choice. And that's what it's all about."