I seem to recall that almost all retail establishments have tended to be closed for the Fourth. In fact, Nomi and I made a special call to our local supermarket, Stop & Shop, to ask if they would be open on Friday so we could plan accordingly, and it turns out they will be.
And it's not just them. Our local Trader Joe's has a big sign up saying they will be open. The New England Comics chain, where I purchase my weekly comics, is going to be open and is having a sale on the Fourth. And I just passed the Borders in Copley Square, and they too have a sign saying they will be open on the Fourth.
It costs money to keep a store open on the Fourth. Even if your employees are salaried, to make them work on the Fourth usually involves paying some kind of overtime, doesn't it? So the only reason I can see for these stores to stay open on the Fourth is if sales are down so much this summer that they're desperately hoping to recoup their losses on a day when most Americans are free to go shopping.
I wonder if this is just another harbinger of the economy.