This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Bricks and Mortar Died. Where Did It Go?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The fourth quarter of 2013 has not been kind for many retail stocks. Promotions pressured companies during the holiday season, a time when many retailers make a large portion of their annual sales. 

Some traditional retailers slipped by unscathed, but many did not. As a result, their share prices are getting shellacked when they report earnings or issue negative preannouncements. 

"Promotional, promotional, promotional." It's all we've heard since December in regard to the retail sector. Analysts knew it, the companies knew and we knew it. 

So why didn't investors prepare for such a disaster? I don't know. Perhaps the broader stock market's outperformance reassured them. Or perhaps it was the correct sense that the economy and the consumer are still intact.

What I do know is why the traditional retailers are getting hurt. The tides have officially turned in favor of online shopping following the 2013 holiday season, as Amazon (AMZN) has become the go-to place for shopping. 

The company sold 37 million items on Cyber Monday, a 44% surge from the year before. On Black Friday, sales for the online retailer rose 35% year over year. eBay's (EBAY) sales increased 32% year over year on Cyber Monday, and 39% on Black Friday.

Amazon's sales from Thanksgiving through the third week in December were up 25% year over year, while eBay's were up nearly 10%. 

In general, online sales were on the rise, and specifically, mobile sales have at last seemed to increase in a meaningful way. The Friday-through-Sunday weekend before Christmas makes up three of the four top shopping days in the U.S. (the other being Black Friday). 

According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2013 online sales increased 37% year-over-year that weekend, while mobile sales increased 53% and accounted for 21.5% of all online sales. However, during that same period, in-store sales fell 3.1%, and store traffic dropped 21%.

Stock quotes in this article: AMZN, EBAY, BBY, SHLD, JCP, TJX, COST, WMT, BBBY, GOOG, NKE, UA, M, SBUX 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,409.05 +146.49 0.90%
S&P 500 1,858.55 +15.57 0.84%
NASDAQ 4,075.6170 +41.4560 1.03%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs