Meyer cited J. Crew, which rings up 30 percent of its sales online, and Urban Outfitters, which receives 18 percent of its sales online, as two potential beneficiaries of the shift in sales.
But Gold said he expects that the peak period for online purchases has already passed, because shoppers will be worried that gifts they order will not arrive on time for the holiday.
Instead, he expects consumers to head to the stores on Sunday or Monday. He suggests retailers in snow-affected areas consider extending sales promotions planned for Saturday or shift more staff to Sunday and Monday in order to meet the shifting customer demand.
But consumers in those regions shouldn't wait too long after this weekend's storm, as there could be more foul weather headed to the region next week, Gold said.
It also should be noted that some stores may actually fare better as the snow spurs sales of winter items like sweaters, boots and snowthrowers. And then, there's also the argument that the snow could inspire the holiday spirit and put consumers, who have been cautious in their spending, in a buying mood.
As an investor, the most important thing to consider is which retail chains have the largest portions of their sales in the Northeast. The table below shows the percentage of average sales that are in the path of the storm, according to Planalytics.