• by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
Sunday Shopping

The heat is on and Athens is in full-on summer mode – not to mention over-flowing with tourists and visitors. The city hasn’t seen this many tourists in a long time, a fact I think is obvious to all of us by now…

In keeping with summer season, I’ve had a few visitors staying with me – the latest arrived from Canada on Sunday morning. We had a long breakfast at Hip Café in Syntagma, and wandered around the city catching up.  We commented on the number of people outside enjoying the day, the packed cafes and happy buzz in the air.

Later in the afternoon, and in light of my empty fridge, I was reminded that my local supermarket was actually OPEN on Sundays, and I could pick up some necessities. I explained to my friend that this Sunday shopping is completely new and very controversial. She reminded me that 2 decades ago the very same debate was raging in Toronto about Sunday retail laws. In 2014, nobody remembers or cares about it there, since the 7-day retail workweek is a fact of life.

Mine may be a minority view, but I’m ok with Sunday store openings.  I’m not sure if employees here are earning more money from the extended hours – but as a ‘user’, I’m pretty ok with it.

I respect all views on the subject, and appreciate that there are many. But having a day-to-day schedule that precludes me from doing many of the ‘retail’ tasks of an average week (everything from groceries to buying a pair of socks), I am absolutely in favour of Sunday openings. It’s about convenience, and as a consumer I’m in favour of convenience. Understandably, if I was an employee I might not like the extra hours. Having said that, so long as I’m being compensated for those extra hours, I might actually welcome the extra income, as little as it might be. Maybe in 20 years nobody will remember what all the fuss was about.

At the same time, if it all gets cancelled and we go back to ‘no Sunday openings’ – I can’t say I would be heart broken.

Yet another dichotomy of life in Athens?  Perhaps.  But guess what – the internet doesn't close on Sundays and I can always get my socks there.

Until next week,


In this weekly space, keep up with ‘Jack’ as he navigates daily life in Athens… Anecdotes, stories, hits & misses, the good, the bad and, well, the rest…