A new Italian law allowing stores to stay open at all times from the start of this year is causing controversy and disbelief among the country's retailers. The bold move was pushed by Mario Monti, Italy's prime minister, as part of his plan to open up the country's services industry. Some retailers applaud this liberalization, while others argue that it will lead to thousands of small store closures and many more job losses. It remains to be seen if Italian sports retailers will widely switch to extended opening hours.