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My Predictions for Cyber Monday Winners and Losers

Sean Williams
November 30, 2011

Cyber Monday has become just as much a part of American culture as standing in the blistering cold with a bottle of pepper spray in hand outside of Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving waiting for that $2 waffle iron to go on sale. OK, all joking aside, Cyber Monday has definitely crept up the importance scale over the past few years and now represents the day with the most Internet sales of the year.

Based on U.S. data released yesterday, Cyber Monday sales totaled $1.251 billion, up 22% from the year-ago period. IBM Benchmark, another tracking platform, showed that sales rose by 33% from a year ago. Either way you look at, online sales appear strong for the most part, but we know full well that not everyone can be a winner.

Although no companies have thus far released any data on their Cyber Monday sales, I have a few guesses as to which stocks may have done well and which companies may have disappointed. Please remember these are just educated guesses as no hard data are in as of yet.

The winners

  • Department stores: Large-scale department stores JCPenney (NYSE: JCP  ) , Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN  ) , and Macy's (NYSE: M  ) spared no expense this year to make the American public aware of their online deals. Macy's and JCPenney chose to harness the power of social media by debuting many of their specials this year on Facebook.
  • Electronics: I would call the fact that Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) didn't fall flat on its face on Black Friday a resounding success -- so much so that I'm willing to bet it carried over into Monday. The margins on electronics aren't as robust as they have been in years past, but the volume of product moving is definitely making up for some of that. Though it has had to add free shipping to compete with, which will chew into margins, it's better to sell a lot of items with low margins than it is to not sell them at all.
  • Home improvement stores: This is the wild card of all my picks. All of the data recently have pointed to a resurgence in home remodels, which could point to strong sales of tools and home furnishings this holiday season. I'm going to be looking for good results from Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) if and when its Cyber Monday results are released.

The losers

  • Teen retailers: