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Trading hours for retailers in South Australian shopping districts are regulated by the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 and Shop Trading Hours Regulations 2018.

Where a shop is located, its size and what it sells determines whether it is exempt or non-exempt from the state's shop trading laws. From 1 November 2022 the following provisions apply:

Shopping districts

South Australia's shopping districts are:

  • the Greater Adelaide Shopping District comprising:
  • 3 Proclaimed Shopping Districts:
    • Binnum (includes the towns of Binnum, Frances and Kybybolite)
    • Grace (includes the town of Mallala)
    • Millicent

Non-exempt shops

South Australia’s retail trading laws apply to non-exempt shops. A non-exempt shop is any shop that is not defined as an exempt shop. A non-exempt shop can generally trade during the following hours.

Central Business District (CBD) Tourist Precinct

Weekdays: until 9pm
Saturdays: until 5pm (includes Easter Saturday)
Sundays: 9am to 5pm
Most public holidays: 11am to 5pm (includes Easter Sunday)
Anzac Day: 12 noon to 5pm 
Good Friday and Christmas Day: CLOSED

Metropolitan Shopping District

Weekdays: until 9pm
Saturdays: until 5pm (includes Easter Saturday)
Sundays: 9am to 5pm (excludes Easter Sunday)
All public holidays: CLOSED

Proclaimed Shopping Districts

Weekdays: until 6pm (until 9pm on Thurs)
Saturdays: until 5pm (excludes Easter Saturday)
Sundays: CLOSED
All public holidays: CLOSED

Hardware, furniture, floor coverings, motor vehicle parts and accessories

Weekdays: until 9pm
Saturdays: until 5pm (includes Easter Saturday)
Sundays: 9am to 5pm
Most public holidays: 9am to 5pm
Anzac Day: 12 noon to 5pm
Good Friday and Christmas Day: CLOSED

Car and boat dealerships

Weekdays: until 6pm Mon, Tue, Wed; until 9pm Thurs, Fri
Saturdays: until 5pm (excludes Easter Saturday)
Sundays: CLOSED
All public holidays: CLOSED

Refer to Special trading arrangements for additional trading hours that mostly relate to the Christmas shopping period.

Work on Sundays and public holidays

A shop is only entitled to be opened on a Sunday or public holiday if each employee who works in the shop during that Sunday or public holiday has voluntarily accepted an offer to work on that day.

Exempt shops

An exempt shop can trade on any day of the year during hours that suit the needs of the business and its customers. An exempt shop is a shop that:

  • is not located in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District or a Proclaimed Shopping District
  • is located in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District or a Proclaimed Shopping District and:
    • has a retail floor area not exceeding 200m² or not exceeding 400m² if a supermarket/grocery store, and
    • has an adjacent or adjoining storage area no bigger than half the shop's retail floor area
  • is a hairdressers shop
  • is a plant nursery
  • hires goods, such as machinery etc.
  • is, regardless of size and provided at least 80% of sales are goods typically sold in one of these shops:
    • cafes, restaurants and take-away food
    • shops within ten pin bowling alleys, squash centres and golf courses
    • antiques, other than coins or stamps
    • live fish and aquariums etc.
    • paintings and crafts
    • bookshops and newsagents
    • pharmacies
    • cosmetics
    • medical and surgical appliances
    • florists
    • non-alcoholic drinks, ice-cream, confectionery or light refreshments
    • pets and accessories
    • souvenirs
    • tobacconists
    • cash-and-carry wholesale warehouses
    • horticultural or agricultural shows
    • short-term charitable, religious or benevolent sponsored
    • agricultural machinery
    • fine art, either by auction or on commission
    • caravans and/or trailers
    • petrol stations.

Special exemptions

Temporary exemptions from South Australia's legislated shop trading hours may be granted or declared by the Minister responsible for the Act and can be:

  • a general exemption for non-exempt shops in a specified shopping district
  • an exemption granted to a specific shop or a class of shops.

And exemption can be granted or declared on application to the Minister or on the Minister’s own initiative. In deciding whether to grant or declare an exemption, the Minister must have regard to the following:

  • whether the exemption will enable the shop to be open at an exhibition, show, a local event, trade event or to meet the requirements of tourists and other visitors to the area
  • the extent and outcome of community consultation and the notice that would be given to the community if the exemption were to be granted
  • consultation and support of interested parties (refer to section 5(8) of the Act).

The Minister must not grant or declare exemptions that are so extensive as to undermine the controls on shop trading hours set out in the Act.

Please contact us for further advice on the exemption application process.