Retail trend watch: Consumers trading down and buying online

|By:, SA News Editor

Wells Fargo bangs the same drum as other firms on the promotional fervor being seen in retail with its warning today that Q4 margins may disappoint.

Analysts with the investment firm cite data showing mall traffic was off 9% for the first two weeks of December and think that even a late-month pickup in sales won't be enough to rescue the quarter.

The consistent read on the sector has been that discounters (DG, FIVE, DLTR, FDO), e-commerce retailers (AMZN, OSTK, EBAY, NILE, BIDZ, SFLY), and membership warehouses (COST, PSMT, WMT) may have held up the best as consumers either traded down or shopped via devices.