The holiday season didn't end dreadfully for all retailers.
On Friday, the government reported that sales at non-store retailers, a category primarily comprised of digital outfits such as Amazon (AMZN) that sell just about everything, rose 0.3% in December. The gain came on top of a 0.3% sales increase from November to October.
Overall retail sales, however, fell 0.1% in December compared to November and were up just 2.2% from December 2014. For the entire year, retail sales only increased 2.1% from 2014, the smallest annual increase since 2009.
On Friday, the National Retail Federation reported that holiday sales in 2015 increased 3% from the previous year to $626 billion, compared to its forecast for 3.7% growth. Non-store holiday sales, mostly comprising online sales, however, grew 9 percent to $105 billion.
The strength in buying items online from a desktop computer or smartphone during the holidays came into focus early on in the season, and continued right on through to the end.
Channel Advisor, which compiles retail data for some of the largest online shops, said its clients reported same-store online sales growth of more than 50% from midnight to noon on Thanksgiving. Sales on Amazon spiked 31% during that span.
Meanwhile, Amazon said it added 3 million new Amazon Prime subscribers in the third week of December alone. The company added that it set a new record by delivering over 200 million items for free with Prime this holiday season.