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Retail workers across the country can start counting their overtime pay, as stores are battling the recession by staying open for Thanksgiving. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and the Gap are keeping their fingers crossed that consumers will shell out more in holiday shopping this year than in last year’s dismal showing, and hope to increase traffic by opening one day before Black Friday kicks off the mania of the holiday shopping season. But the recession also means that markdowns will be less generous than last year, peaking around 50 percent as opposed to 75 percent in 2008. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the high-stakes time of the year in retail—approximately 134 million Americans are expected to hit the stores this weekend, and a promising one-third of consumers surveyed recently admitted that they would probably end up spending more than expected this year. "The recession last year was a shock to the consumer. This year they are already tired of it," explained a retail analyst. "They might even reward themselves for being frugal for the whole year."