Sign for the Maine Mall in Portland, Maine
Sign for the Maine Mall in Portland, Maine - 
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Steve Chiotakis: For most people, today is about eating and being off work. But during your feast, rest-assured preparations for a retail all-nighter are in high gear. Stores and shopping centers are trying to tap as much commercial energy as they can find. But the economy is making that a tough task.

At the big mall in Portland, Maine, stores are opening early tomorrow morning. But not as early they had been the day after Thanksgiving. Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports.

Jennifer Collins: It's called The Maine Mall -- as in the state, not the street -- and it's opening up at lot later this Black Friday. At 6 a.m. General manager Craig Morris broke the news to staff earlier this year:

Craig Morris: You know, I got a lot of thank you's.

He says the mall's hundred or so stores are cutting back. They have less merchandise in stock, they're limiting the discounts, and they're trying to save on staffing.

Gorris: I think what we heard is that we can do as much business opening at 6 as we could if we were open at midnight and were open for those extra six hours.

That could be pushing other stores to consider later hours as well, says Kathy Grannis of the National Retail Federation:

Kathy Grannis: As times have gotten harder on retailers, opening those extra hours can actually cost them a lot of money. And in these challenging times retailers, are looking to save costs.

This year, the federation is expecting a few more shoppers than last year, but not nearly the numbers we saw before the recession.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.