Mar 112018

Those who save their weekly shopping for Sunday were in for a rude shock today when they realized that almost all the shops in Poland are closed.

It’s the result of a new law signed at the beginning of this year which limits shop openings to the first and last Sunday of the month. By 2020, even these are planned to be phased out so that every Sunday is a shopping-free day.

Supporters of the ban say that it will benefit workers and their families. Some have religious reasons for opposing Sunday labor as well.

Critics say that the new rule limits consumer and company choice, depresses the economy, may unfairly harm students who can only work on weekends, and contains loopholes which make the law easy to evade. (For example, an exception has been made for “fishery and agriculture products,” which has some businesses arguing that any shop which sells fish oil tablets should be technically allowed to remain open.)

Other exceptions which may be more helpful to the casual reader include petrol stations, pharmacies, post offices, animal hospitals, and commercial outlets at transport centers like airports and train stations. (That means you can probably find at least some open shops beneath Galeria Krakowska at the Main Rail Station.)

Some businesses, especially grocery stores, reported an uptick in sales yesterday as shoppers rushed to stock up in expectation of the first Sunday closure. Some analysts also predict that this could lead to a boost for e-commerce.

For future planning, here are all the Sundays this year on which the trade ban will be in effect, plus other national holidays and a special December schedule structured around the Christmas season:

Polish nationwide shop closures 2018 (with Sunday trade bans and holidays included)

Polish nationwide shop closures 2018 (with Sunday trade bans and holidays included)

Need something to fill the void in your heart left by the absence of consumerism? Enjoy this clever Polish comic by a cartoonist who goes by “melon.” (The humor comes from the fact that the Polish word “szop,” which sounds like English “shop,” actually translates to “raccoon.”)

("Mommy, mommy, why have you locked me up?" asked the raccoon)

(“Mommy, mommy, why have you locked me up?” asked the raccoon) (source)

  13 Responses to “Why are all the shops closed in Poland on Sunday?”

  1. I remember when the stores in California closed at six p.m. on Saturdays. It wasn’t the end of the world. Now they are open late every day and it hasn’t improved the quality of life.

  2. it’s not about consumerism, it’s about the free market. if the goal was to protect the worker’s rights, the government could have applied different and more effective policies, rather than a ban on trade.

  3. But what happens with all those 24-h “Alkohole” shops? Will they be forced to close too? And what about bars and restaurants? Especially in tourist areas?

  4. When I lived in Brazil in the 80s and 90s, most shops were closed on Sunday, except maybe for small grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential services. That changed around 1998, when commercial establishments began pushing for Sunday openings. Interestingly, when I was in Krakow for the first time in 2014, most shops were closed on Sunday (I needed to buy an adapter and couldn’t find an open place. I guess that changed and now they’re changing back

  5. I think this a brilliant idea, sundays should be a family day, it is also the sabbath day for christians and a guaranteed day off for people who have worked all week. Is life all about money? Well done Poland, totally agree with this, we should do it in Britain.

    • This is not the true Sabbath. Read exodus 20 verse 8 through 11. The 7th day is the Sabbath. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. KJV — Exodus 20:8
      9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: KJV — Exodus 20:9
      10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: KJV — Exodus 20:10
      11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. KJV — Exodus 20:11

  6. We now have 24 hour stores for people to do shopping when ever they want to shop, so i agree with sunday closeing as like a lot of people its the only day we get time to spend with family and freinds, and relax.

  7. What about people who rely on working Sundays to pay their bills? People who’ve now been forced to lose two days of work per month? Saying ‘its not all about money’ is fine when you’ve got enough to get by. If you needed to work Sundays simply to get by, you’d think very differently.

  8. Nothing special. Go to e.g. Germany, Austria or Norway and on Sunday you can also do “shopping” only at petrol stations.
    Change your life from the Work-Spend-F…-Sleep Mode. Find to time think and talk to you familiy about sth more advanced.

  9. This is the most helpful post online about the Sunday closings, thanks! I come back to this article (and that graphic) each weekend to see what’s happening :)

  10. we should go back to some form of statalsim/communism … if we let the big corp keep going there will be only 1 for each market and they will not care at all of people but only about profita

  11. Gotta say this isn’t the type of positive reform for people or the economy. We had this before in Britain and it was a mistake.

    When we changed to allow Sunday trading it came with a few positive rules. The first that it was reduced trading times, so shops were open but for shorter periods, the second was that working on Sundays largely meant that you received a higher wage – so fewer hours either equalled or exceeded normal working day rate and pay. Typically 1.5 times the normal rate of pay – 2x if you worked public holidays. Shops that had a large size of workforce would rotate staff so a single worker would not be stuck working Sundays consecutively – unless they wanted to. It meant that there were more jobs and it transformed ghost towns into some thriving areas – it’s not just shops that it attracts but it encourages the springing up of attractions & services many of which families benefit from having something other than going on walks or staying at home.

    Sunday’s are or should be about choice. The choice to open or not – the choice to work or not. There are so many students in Kraków as a result of all of the numerous universities. They can’t work normal hours during the week with studying too – Now in Kraków most Saturdays are stupidly busy – what’s more I like many work until late evening during the week in an office M-Friday. So those in my position don’t have the opportunity to even food shop much for the week & have to conform to the busy crowd of Sat shoppers. It’s bad for the Polish economy too. what should have been discussed was how many Sundays individual workers would be expected to work in a year – and an option for them – not their employers – to choose to work more if they wished. It could have created weekend workers who only want to work during Sat/Sub People who say it gives more time for families are missing the point here – like many – we have to work to feed , clothe, care and go on vacations with our families. It’s true it’s not all about money – but let’s not stick our head in the sand and pretend that money isn’t a concern or an influencing factor as well as the fact that not everyone – especially those who come from far away villages are going to travel home for Sundays. In today’s world where choice is an enabler for all sorts of opportunities – having such an important one removed by the government on behalf of the people is regressive not progressive.

  12. I am speaking as an Ex-Roman Catholic, Sunday closing is to do with Bible Prophecy. The Papacy claim authority for changing the true Sabbath (Saturday), to Sunday, being the false sabbath. The Papacy also claim that having changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday now makes Sunday its “MARK” of authority. Bible Prophecy says that America will enforce a Sunday law, America being the second beast of prophecy and cause the whole world to wander after the first beast, being Papal Rome, Those who fall in line with the Sunday Law will receive the “Mark of the Beast” and will be lost, according to Bible Prophecy. Saturday the seventh day of the week being God’s Sabbath, Is His sign or mark of authority. Its a question of worship, do you worship God by keeping His Holy Day (Saturday), or do you worship the Papacy and ultimately Satan by keeping Sunday (the false sabbath). Its starting to happen now with Donald Trump supporting the Catholic Church and many European countries closing businesses on Sundays. Warning! Watch America and the Papacy very closely, don’t throw away your eternal life.

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