Anyone in this industry who has spoken with PoolCorp’s Manny Perez for more than a few minutes knows his opinion regarding retailers staying open on Sundays. Manny feels weekend hours are imperative to compete with the Big Boxes.

I agree, of course, but up until recently, I never gave it much thought. Pool and spa retailers in Los Angeles tend to stay open on weekends, and since I’m usually here in town, I haven’t seen a real snapshot of the rest of the country.

New Years was a holiday for most workers, and I decided to buy a book on my day off. As a strong supporter of small businesses, I drove 20 minutes to my favorite family-owned bookstore, noticing on the way there that the parking lot of the local mall was packed with shoppers.

The store I love was closed for the day. Disappointed, but still determined, I continued on to the only other independent bookstore within driving distance. However, its doors were shut as well.

I wanted to pick out a book as quickly as possible because it was a belated Christmas gift. Sighing with frustration, I drove to Borders where I found its mega outlet doing brisk business. The gift I needed was for an uncle with completely different interests than my own, and even though the Borders’ employee I spoke with seemed like she could barely spell the word “book” let alone make a suggestion as to which one I should buy, she was there — and ready to ring up my purchase.

It’s tough to be a small retailer competing against multi-national corporations. But to close your doors on a day when most of the country is spending money is akin to installing a drain in your business that feeds directly into the Big Box operations.

It’s sad. But what’s even sadder is when the independent businesses actually help in their own demise. We are in a war. Don’t relinquish Sunday to the other side.