Credit Suisse anticipates that Black Friday will have a diminished impact this year because promotional deals are starting earlier, according to an industry report published on Monday. The bank said the traditional start of the holiday shopping season is "losing its luster" as promotions extend over a longer period of time. Overall, the bank believes this year will be tempered by weakening mall traffic trends, consumer spending's shift away from apparel and towards higher-priced goods such as vehicles, and elevated inventory levels that are cause for gross margin concerns. Online sales will continue to take share from brick-and-mortar stores, the bank wrote, which puts retailers with a strong e-commerce presence in a good position. Credit Suisse's "top stock picks" are Hanesbrands Inc. , L Brands Inc. and Nike Inc. while it is "cautioous" about mall-based specialty retailers, particularly Gap Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. . See also: What the death of the American mall means for investors
Copyright © 2015 MarketWatch, Inc.