Sunday shopping is to become a thing of the past in Tilburg after some 150 small shopkeepers took legal action against the big retail chains.
The company court ruled on Tuesday Tilburg does not have enough attractions to count as a tourist centre and city centre shops should therefore be restricted to 12 Sunday openings a year.
The case was brought by a collective of some 150 independent retailers, who say small shops are being forced to open on Sundays or lose business.
Under current laws, only shops in towns which are considered tourist centres are allowed to open every Sunday. New rules, which will allow local councils to decide whether or not to allow shopping seven days a week, are currently being handled in parliament.
‘Apart from the annual Tilburg fun fair, there is nothing more than the standard cultural provisions in Tilburg,’ the ruling stated.
A spokesman for the small shopkeepers told news agency ANP the ruling vindicated their position.
‘This is further evidence that decisions about Sunday shopping should not be left to local councils which lean towards the interests of the big retailers and supermarket groups,’ Henry Konijn is quoted as saying.
Other similar cases are pending in Bergen op Zoom, Almere, Lelystad and Wageningen, ANP said.