NEW YORK, N.Y. ( TheStreet) -- Foot traffic and spending at physical retail stores declined this year during the all-important Black Friday sales push, but that doesn't that mean you should drop shares of high-profile retailers stocks like Walmart (WMT) , Target (TGT) , and Best Buy (BBY) .
Shoppers are changing their habits and you should buy or hold the savvy retailers that are adapting, and consider selling those stuck in the past.
Retail spending during Thanksgiving weekend fell 11% and shoppers spent 6.4% less each on average, according to the National Retail Federation. The drop marked the second straight annual decline in overall sales. But the data failed to capture fundamental changes in how people are now consuming goods and services, and how some retailers are taking advantage. Larger, more powerful smartphones in the hands of many has sparked a wave of mobile consumption, something underscored in data coming out of Cyber Monday, where sales were up 8.1%, according to IBM (IBM) . And Black Friday has morphed into "Black November," with many retailers offering sales well before and after the Friday following Thanksgiving.
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The NRF data also conflicted with TheStreet's observation of a dizzying number of shoppers flocking to the Thanksgiving Day openings of Best Buy, Walmart, Target, J.C. Penney (JCP) and Macy's (M) seen over 36 hours from 6:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving until 6:00 p.m. on Black Friday. Many of those tired shoppers left stores with expensive smart TVs by Samsung (SSNLF) and Sony (SNE) , connected home equipment by Google (GOOG) owned Nest and Nike (NKE) athletic apparel.
Some retailers said they were bucking the alleged sales slowdown.
"We have had just huge lines around the women's shoe department. Boots in particular have been the strongest category," said Macy's chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren in a phone interview with TheStreet on Black Friday. In an emailed statement near midnight on Thanksgiving, a Target spokeswoman characterized online orders as "strong." And on Black Friday, J.C. Penney's CEO Mike Ullman chimed in on the company's start to the holidays, noting "strong" sales.
In every changing industry, there are winners and losers. TheStreet takes a look at six individual companies to assess their fourth-quarter prospects, recommending three to buy and three to sell.