Shopping hours

I often hear a lot of Americans complaining about the shop hours in England. I know as Americans we are used to everything being open 24-7, but perhaps we have got it wrong? I know this will be a provocative thought but listen to my justification...

One thing that occurs to me is that we are just running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I like the limited hours on Sundays for shops to be open (these only came in 20 years ago and other European countries have everything closed on Sundays). Studies show we are not spending enough time with our children so take advantage of a day of rest. Having limited hours on shopping means you can still get things done but have the afternoon to spend with the family. If you ask me you should be able to fit in your shopping during the week or on the Saturday. Also the people that shop on Sundays in the shops seem to window shop than actually buy anything. I have worked in a shop here and know, it was our slowest day of trade.

Then people say that shops aren't open late enough. I used to work in a shop and hardly had any business after 5 p.m. most people stopped in on their lunch. the later the shops are open, the more the owner has to charge in order to pay their staff.

Plus do you really need all that stuff? Over the years I have been living in England, I have slowly noticed myself becoming less attached with the stuff I have. In fact, I think at least once a year I go through my house and have a good clear out. I sell the 'stuff' at a carboot sale and whatever is left goes to charity. It is less stuff in the landfill and in my house and I make a bit of money and so does the charity shop!

First thing I will point out is that in English homes there is not a lot of storage space, I really can't keep it all. Plus it is quite therapeutic. Although the English love to shop as much as the Americans, I know they value their time off. Perhaps this is something we can all learn. Especially with the world in the state it is in, do you really need to buy 'stuff' especially when about 90% of the stuff you buy now will end up in the landfill in six months? Check out the Story of Stuff and see how this affects the world.

Historically Sundays everything was closed, it was a day to go to church and a day of rest. I hope that the UK doesn't go in the way of the States, I like having my Sunday to myself, if I need to get something I will do it in the week. I go to the grocery store after work. If I need to buy something I will do it on Saturday or on my lunch break. I hope that you will change your habits and enjoy the shopping hours instead of despising them. Spend time with your family, go out and experience England.

All the Best!

American to Britain