Internet sales remain marginal for many retailers

|By:, SA News Editor

After almost two decades of Internet shopping in which Amazon has become a behemoth, many major bricks and mortar retailers are still struggling to take advantage, as new correspondence with the SEC shows.

Target (TGT), for example, told investors last week that its digital sales have grown by double digits, but when pressed by the SEC, said they're an "immaterial amount of total sales."

Fifth & Pacific (FNP) has told investors that it's "ravenously growing business in e-commerce," but then said that providing a specific figure wasn't "relevant to investors."

The SEC has also queried the claims of Wal-Mart (WMT), which now predicts 2013 online revenue of $10B vs consensus estimates for total sales of $481.52B, and PetSmart (PETM).

Retailers argue that because customers use the Internet and stores to make purchases, in the words of Target's Casey Carl, "it doesn't make sense to delineate between whether it's an online or in-store sale."