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P.E.I. stores say sales were good during the first day of year-round Sunday shopping. ((CBC))

Stores in Charlottetown and Summerside reported strong sales for the first official day of year-round Sunday shopping in Prince Edward Island.

Islanders were able to hit the shops Jan. 2 for the first time after P.E.I.'s Retail Business Holidays Act was changed last month, allowing stores to open on Sundays.

Shayna Conway, who works at Juice Zone in the Charlottetown Mall, said she was surprised by the crowds.

"There was more people around than we expected," said Conway. "We actually had to stop and do some dishes real quick before we could keep going, because we didn't have any stuff.

"We were expecting that people would kind of be home, just hanging out for the day, not around shopping," she added. "I didn't think anyone would want to be around just because it was so chaotic all week."

In Summerside, the County Fair Mall was quiet, but other stores in the area said traffic was up.

Merchants can choose whether they want to open on Sundays.

Before the recent changes, P.E.I. was the only province in Canada that didn't allow Sunday shopping throughout the year. Since 2007, however, stores could open Sundays from Victoria Day to Christmas.