(Rewrites with detail on holiday shopping and investor comments)
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Shares of Macy's Inc , Kohls Corp and other U.S. retailers rose on Friday following early signs that consumers may spend more at their stores this holiday shopping season than in previous years.
Shopping malls have been struggling with declining foot traffic, lackluster sales growth and a loss of business to online behemoth Amazon.com Inc.
Brick-and-mortar stores and their investors are hoping that a strong labor market and rising home prices will increase the turnout between Thursday's U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas, a period that can account for as much as 40 percent of total annual sales and make or break a retailer.
"It's the big box retailers' last stand against the digital revolution," said Jake Dollarhide, Chief Executive of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "It's their last chance to say, 'This is still our season'."
Shares of Macy's, which has suffered from falling sales for several quarters, jumped 3.4 percent, while rival Nordstrom added 1.1 percent.
"We have a five-week marathon ahead of us," Macy's CEO Jeffrey Gennette told CNBC on Friday, adding that the retailer saw robust demand at its website ahead of the major shopping holidays.
Amazon shares rose 2 percent to a record high, bringing its gain in 2017 to nearly 60 percent. It offered its own Black Friday deals and revealed a preview of its Cyber Monday discounts.
Adobe Analytics forecast online Black Friday sales of $5 billion, which would be a record high. Online retailers will rake in an additional $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe.
Harsh competition and shifting consumer tastes have created a wave of bankruptcies among apparel retailers, sports stores and other retailers in recent years. Many young shoppers eschew pricey clothing brands.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Macy's and others have beefed up their online sales platforms and boosted discounts for online orders in a bid to stem market share losses to Amazon.
Investors pointed to a jobless rate at a 17-year low as one reason to expect a pickup in holiday shopping this year.
"Instead of curtailing spending, consumers are coming out of their bunker," said Chad Morganlander, a portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors in Florham Park, New Jersey. "Nonetheless, the trend of retail preferences of the consumer is not going away."
Not all retailers shared in Friday's holiday cheer: Target Corp shares declined 1.9 percent while Bed Bath & Beyond Inc slipped 1.5 percent. (Reporting by Noel Randewich; Additional reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Rigby)