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Introducing a four-day working week would boost high street sales by an estimated £58billion, a new study has claimed.

Three-day weekends would not only give shoppers 20% more time to buy but increase spending on hobbies, gardening and DIY, according to analysis.

And the boom would come when struggling retailers need it most.

The study by e-commerce experts at international delivery service ParcelHero also said a shorter week would help staff recruitment by making jobs more attractive.

Consumer research boss David Jinks told The Mirror: "Lockdowns have made us all re-evaluate our work-life balance and we’ve seen most ­businesses can survive without the traditional 9-5, five-day week.

"It could boost key areas such as hospitality that have been hardest hit by the pandemic."

A Survation poll showed that 64% of voters would back four-day working if there was no loss of pay.

Iceland, Spain and Norway have run pilot schemes and Microsoft trialled a four-day working week in Japan and found a 40% increase in productivity.

The Scottish government is investing £10million in a fund to help businesses decide if a shorter week would work for them.

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British workers put in more full-time working hours than any of our EU-member neighbours – with the exception of Greece.

Yet we are lagging behind in terms of productivity.

France has had a 35-hour week since 2000 which was introduced to lower unemployment. Overtime is paid on any extra hours worked.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn proposed a 32-hour week ahead of the 2019 election. However, his plan was opposed by others in the party.

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A survey of business owners, chief executives, and finance officers showed 47% are "very open" to a shortened working week and 32% are "quite open".

The biggest concern was over increased wage bills if there was no reduction in employees’ pay.

That would be offset if productivity went up.

Support for a four-day week with no pay reduction has been ­growing and is backed by the TUC and major unions.

And environmental campaigners Platform London calculate shifting to a four-day week would reduce the UK’s carbon footprint by 21.3% in four years.

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