Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said the majority of the 2009 growth in online spending will come at the expense of physical stores. She expects more consumer dollars to be spent online because it's easier for people to comparison shop and to find what they're looking for.

Online sales are expected to make up 7 percent of overall retail revenue in 2009, compared with 6 percent in 2008.

Mulpuru thinks that Web-based retailer Amazon.com Inc. is primed to benefit. However, some big retailers with a Web presence, such as Best Buy Co. and Macy's Inc., could continue to capture a disproportionate share, since consumers are familiar with those brand names.

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