Shop Online Like Everyone Else Is Starting to Do

Online sales are rising like never before for many retailers.

Apr 25, 2014 at 2:17PM

Over the past few years, the Internet has become a favorite place to shop for many consumers. Shopping online for a particular product can be way more convenient and stress-free because there are no lines to wait in and you can avoid running around only to find out that the product you want is out of stock. With everything just a mouse click away, why bother going out to shop?

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Amazon, (NASDAQ:AMZN), one of the world's fastest-growing retailers, isn't anything like a traditional retailer. It is also for these reasons and so many more that the e-commerce divisions of many retailers are having more luck generating sales growth than the actual stores. Some of the most popular clothing retailers that sell both men's and women's apparel, including The Buckle (NYSE:BKE), Express (NYSE:EXPR), and The Gap (NYSE:GPS), are experiencing explosive growth not by opening new stores but through their e-commerce divisions. This will have a major effect on their bottom lines in the years to come and shareholders should take note of this growth.

Growth without a store
These days, retail sales can come from places other than a retailer's stores. While going to the actual store to shop had once been the only way to shop for a brand's products, this has dramatically changed thanks to the creation of these retailers' online businesses.

In fact, more and more consumers are choosing instead to shop at retailers' websites to save time running from place to place. Even though you can't try the product before you buy it off a company's website, you could shop at the actual store and then purchase the product online after considering the purchase some more. Companies like The Buckle, The Gap, and Express are seeing their online sales growing more quickly than their actual retail store sales. Check out the table below to get an idea of each company's revenue trend over the past three fiscal years and its online retail growth.


The Buckle

The Gap,


FY 2012 Revenue Growth




FY 2013 Revenue Growth




FY 2012 E-commerce Growth




FY 2013 E-commerce Growth




As you can see, all three retailers have managed to increase their revenue in each year since fiscal 2011. This is in large part due to the retailers' websites as consumers turn to digital media, the Internet, and mobile applications as their primary sources of information and entertainment.

Online sales are also experiencing positive growth for these retailers with Express gaining much of its sales growth from the company's website as consumers sign up for email notifications to know when the company is offering its promotions. Some of these promotions are only valid online, which is how many consumers get hooked. There's no question that online sales will continue to climb as today's society becomes more digital.

The big business of direct to consumer
Retail is a big money-making industry. In most cases, consumers can be lured by current fashion trends, promotions, and savvy salesmen to purchase particular products, which adds more profit to the retailers' pockets. The Buckle, The Gap, and Express are doing quite well for themselves in generating sales from their women's and men's apparel and accessory collections.

Company Name

FY 2011
Net Income

FY 2012
Net Income

FY 2013
Net Income

The Buckle

$151.46 Million

$164.31 Million

$162.58 Million

The Gap

$833 Million

$1.135 Billion

$1.28 Billion


$140.7 Million

$139.27 Million

$116.54 Million

The Gap is not only increasing its net sales every year, it is also increasing its net profit, which has crossed over the billion-dollar mark. What's more impressive is that The Gap is doing all of this while also spending additional money to promote its online retail business. The Buckle is also generating a high profit for itself while Express's profit has slowly decreased over the past few years. This, however, could change in fiscal 2014 as online shopping becomes more of a thing among consumers. These companies' profits are likely to remain strong as the retail industry continues to strive and they realize the cost efficiencies of online sales.

Foolish takeaway
Foolish investors who want to add retailers to their portfolios should consider one of the companies mentioned above. After all, these retailers are proof that e-commerce sales are on the rise in the retail industry. Companies that take the initiative, like these retailers, to revamp their e-commerce divisions by introducing new features and product assortments to make shopping a more enjoyable experience for the consumer should be given further thought. Actual stores as we know it could become a thing of the past as digital media continues to step further into play. Investors should keep an eye on the e-commerce sales growth of these retailers and others or risk being left behind as retail purchases move online. 

Your credit card may soon be completely worthless
The plastic in your wallet is about to go the way of the typewriter, the VCR, and the 8-track tape player. When it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.

Natalie O'Reilly has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and The Buckle. The Motley Fool owns shares of and The Buckle. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers