NEW YORK (
) -- Now that retailers are offering discounts much earlier than Black Friday and way past Cyber Monday, the sales bumps typically seen on those days has become muted. But with more and more shoppers using the Internet for at least some of their purchases, analysts still expect droves to turn to their keyboards to shop around Thanksgiving.
More than 100 million Americans are planning to shop on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The 106.9 million anticipated shoppers on Cyber Monday is up from the roughly 96.5 million visitors last year, according to Shop.org.
Telsey Group analyst Joseph Feldman estimated low double-digit growth in e-commerce sales for this holiday season, which extends through the end of this year. He anticipated sales to be relatively consistent throughout the holidays.
Raymond James analyst Samantha Panella also estimated double-digit growth in e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter, adding that in a recent Raymond James survey holiday shoppers were found to be making purchases sooner than they did last year.
Sterne Agee analyst Ken Stumphauzer forecasts higher Cyber Monday sales this year because many retailers have eliminated shipping fees and online shoppers tend to be more affluent, a demographic that has been spending more consistently this year.
Stumphauzer said he expects
to have good e-commerce sales this holiday season because it has an "easy-to-use" Web site with more options than other retailers. The site offers users the opportunity to browse based on look rather than just brand.
"It's one of the best merchants out there," Stumphauzer said, adding that the company has a "better-edited" selection than other retailers.
Stumphauzer has a buy rating on Nordstrom.
To find retailers that are apt to have strong Internet sales this holiday season, look for companies that have a strong online presence, branding exclusivity and good deals, analysts said.
Based on its brand exclusivity and the recent infusion into its e-commerce program,
is expected to have strong Internet sales this holiday season, Stumphauzer said. The company also has more promotions than last year, he added.
Stumphauzer has a neutral rating on Macy's with a 12-month price target of $28. The stock is currently trading at about $29.50.
has a strong online presence with about 9% of its sales coming from the Internet. Raymond James' Panella and Brean Murray & Co. analyst Eric Beder have a buy rating on Express.
"They do a good job in their market segment with having the right fashion at the right price," Panella said.
Another company that does well online is
, which got 20% of its third-quarter sales from the Internet. Despite the company's recent merchandising missteps, Panella has a buy rating on the stock because of its long-term growth potential.
is another company that might see more cyber sales this holiday season. Beder noted the company has been more aggressive is developing its online presence lately.
"It's for the consumer who wants to splurge," Beder said, adding he expects some splurging this holiday season.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe thinks consumers tend to prefer brands based on the social status and fashion associated with them. Based on that and the idea that people like to get brands at the best price, he anticipates that
will have strong holiday sales. He has a buy rating on the stock.
could take some market share from rivals
with its low prices and its brand exclusivity, Jaffe said.
Feldman has a 12-month price target of $60-$62 on Kohl's. The shares are currently trading at about $52.50.
-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian
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