Which 5 Companies Benefit the Most from Consumer Procrastination?

On Tuesday, a survey released by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) showed that chain-store sales for the week ended December 17 increased 4.6 percent from last year.  It was the biggest percentage jump in over two months.

“After a shopping lull over the first two weeks of December, consumers were out in force this past week trying to complete their holiday shopping,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist. “However, despite the latest week’s pickup, consumers are still behind in their holiday-gift completion rate relative to last year, which means the final week before Christmas is likely to be very, very busy.”

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Collective Intellect, a social media and text mining analytics company, recently teamed up with CNBC and compiled a list of the most popular companies that last minute shoppers are planning to spend their money.  Collective Intellect collected data on over 11 million daily posts on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and news articles.

Here are the top five companies for last minute shoppers:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT):  Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer.  In order to attract last minute shoppers, the retailer recently held a “BIG Christmas Event” special , where Wal-Mart offered its lowest prices of the season on toys, games, electronics and more.  The company also extended its shipping deadlines to give customers an extra day to shop.  Shares are up almost 10 percent year-to-date.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN):  Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, offering everything from books to electronics.  Recently, the company released a new Kindle lineup that included the Kindle Fire.  Although Amazon has not officially released any unit sales on the new Kindles, analysts estimate that Amazon has been selling a total of 1 million Kindle units per week.   Shares have gained a modest 1.2 percent year-to-date.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL):  This tech giant is the trend setter when it comes to consumer products.  The company sells the popular iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPod.  A recent report alleges that Apple’s App Store alone is worth more than Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).  Shares of Apple have increased nearly 23 percent year-to-date.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY):  Best Buy is an American specialty retailer of consumer electronics.  Last week, the company announced a 29 percent drop in net income for the third quarter as consumers shop for lower priced goods at other retailers.  Best Buy is often referred to as Amazon’s showroom, because consumers often research products at Best Buy and purchase it for less on Amazon.  Shares of Best Buy have declined almost 33 percent year-to-date.

Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT):  Target is the second largest discount retailer, behind Wal-Mart.  The company recently launched a holiday promotion regarding shipping.  Customers may receive free shipping when they spend $50 combined on eligible items across all categories.  Customers may also receive free shipping on Target.com purchases when they use Target’s REDcard.  Shares of Target have fallen almost 14 percent year-to-date.

Despite eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) being a giant in the online marketplace, the company did not make the list.  EBay recently offered customers who spent $100 online a $10 discount for purchases in certain stores.  Customers had to purchase items online from Toys R Us Inc., Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE:DKS) and Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE:ARO) using eBay’s PayPal payments service.