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STELLARTON, N.S. -- Defying laws in Nova Scotia against large stores operating on Sundays, Sobeys, Inc. opened six of its locations in the province on Sunday. Two stores in Halifax and one each in Bedford, Dartmouth, Glasgow, and Sydney River were open yesterday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The retailer has applied to Nova Scotia's Supreme Court to have the current Sunday shopping regulations declared invalid, but the hearing into that matter has been delayed until the end of August.
The Atlantic Superstore chain, based in Dartmouth, has joined Sobeys in its court case, which was instigated by Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald's statement last month that the province would close legal loophole permitting stores to reconfigure into separate corporations to open on Sundays, according to the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax. The new regulations would apply only to those stores that reconfigured after the cut-off date of June 1, which include Sobeys and Atlantic Superstore.
"Our customers and our business have been greatly disadvantaged by closing on Sunday, while other retailers of groceries in the province continue to operate," said Sobeys president and c.e.o. Bill McEwan in a statement. "We are left with no choice but to, once again, reconfigure these stores to comply with the new Sunday shopping regulations in order to compete and serve our customers on this increasingly unlevel playing field."
Sobeys owns or franchises approximately 1,300 stores in all 10 Canadian provinces under such retail banners as Sobeys, IGA extra, IGA, and Price Chopper.