It's purely an American thing. In Europe stores still close on Sundays - and every afternoon from noon to 4:00 pm.
American's are just obsessed with money, and consumer spending is a big part of our economy.
AR - your post sounds so judgmental. You say "hearth and home" is important to you - but you only have disdain for the people who live in the "Wal-Mart" world -- as if they have a choice and pick Wal-Mart over "Whole Foods" and "Tiffany's"
Where is your empathy for the people who have to work at Wal-Mart to support their families?