SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) –- U.S. consumers are expected to dole out an average of nearly $769 on smartphones, laptops, tablets, game consoles and other electronics this holiday season, according to a survey released Friday by research firm IHS (IHS) . But for investors, the more interesting nugget is which retailer stands to score this holiday season.
Four retailers stand to attract the greatest attention from shoppers, according to the survey. Amazon.com (AMZN) leads the way, with 76% of 800 survey respondents planning to purchase at least one thing from the online retailer. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is a close second with 73%, followed by Best Buy (BBY) at 66% and Target (TGT) at 63%. Best Buy and Target are trying to narrow the gap with Amazon as the big box retailers try to become more Internet savvy for their shoppers.
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There is a lot of money at stake, given the National Retail Federation is projecting a 4.1% increase this holiday shopping season over last year. What this increase translates into is anticipated sales of $616.9 billion this holiday spending season.
"While the fourth quarter is always the most dynamic in terms of sales, mostly due to holiday spending, this year consumer confidence is very high," said Veronica Gonzalez-Thayer, senior analyst for consumer electronics at IHS Technology, in a statement.
She added that U.S. shoppers have also changed the way they shop for consumer electronics. The survey found that 15% of consumers only plan to purchase consumer electronics online, while 15% only expect to purchase items in a brick-and-mortar store. However, nearly two thirds of survey respondets, or 67%, plan to purchase consumer electronics both online and in an actual store.
And what are they buying?
TVs are expected to capture the interest of shoppers this year, especially if there's a price war. The survey found 34% of respondents said they plan to buy at least one TV set during the holidays and 66% of those folks say they plan to buy a Samsung (SSNLF) , Vizio, Sony (SNE) or LG Electronics TV.
More than a third of consumers surveyed expect to to make at least one electronics purchase on Black Friday, while 32% will do likewise on Cyber Monday, the survey found.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
TheStreet Ratings team rates AMAZON.COM INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate AMAZON.COM INC (AMZN) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, poor profit margins and feeble growth in its earnings per share."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: AMZN Ratings Report