Given the lackluster post-Thanksgiving results reported by Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), it might be easy to conclude that the eagerly anticipated kickoff of the holiday shopping season didn't exactly get the retail ball rolling. However, sluggish sales at the industry bellwether may be more reflective of Wal-Mart's firmer pricing policy this year, rather than a broader reluctance by shoppers to hit the stores early. In fact, ShopperTrak, which compiles sales figures for 30,000 stores, announced that Black Friday sales rose 10.8% over last year's total.

If some of the nation's malls and strip centers were a little less crowded, it could be the missing shoppers were lining up behind online cash registers at companies like (NASDAQ:OSTK). The Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection reported today that traffic to its flagship website spiked 31% from the weekend before, not quite as robust as the 70% increase at Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) virtual storefront, but still busy enough to generate the highest one-day sales total in the company's history.

The closeout retailer did not divulge overall year-over-year comparisons, but did release a few exciting tidbits that prompted investors to bid the shares several dollars higher in morning trading. Sales of apparel and jewelry, for example, were cited as particularly brisk -- a trend that bodes well for online jewelry specialist Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE), another Rule Breakers pick. Furthermore, division Worldstock, which markets goods produced by disadvantaged artisans, posted record four-day sales of $250,000.

The company also noted that its online auction division -- launched last quarter to siphon away some of eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) 350 million listings by charging 30% lower fees -- had 140,000 active auctions during the weekend.'s weekend results are encouraging, particularly considering that most online retailers don't experience a surge in traffic until the Monday following Thanksgiving. Last year, consumers spent more than $300 million in online sales on that day, which has no-so-creatively been dubbed Black Monday.

To date, seasonal online spending has jumped 23% to $5.7 billion, and total holiday sales are expected to rise 25% to top the $15 billion mark. With a new advertising campaign promoting increased brand awareness, and continued consumer preference for discounted merchandise, is well-positioned to capture a healthy percentage of those revenues. Still, with the stock having skyrocketed since this summer to a new 52-week high, that bright outlook has already been factored in. Investors may need to shop carefully before overspending on

Both and Blue Nile are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. You can take a free, no-obligation trial today to our newest newsletter to learn more.

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Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter owns none of the companies mentioned.