Not everyone benefited equally.

Overall retail sales were up in December from the same month a year earlier, but not everyone in the sector benefited equally from the gains, according to new figures from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Department stores actually saw their sales drop 7.2 percent compared with the year-ago period, Bloomberg reports.

At the same time, online retailers and other non-store businesses saw their sales rise 10.4 percent.

The figures come as large retailers such as Macy's and Sears have announced store closings.

Amazon.com, meanwhile, said this month that it will create 100,000 jobs across the U.S. during an expansion over the next year-and-a-half, Bloomberg notes.

Still, bricks-and-mortar stores can thrive, as Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money, recently explained. He said the key to success in a mall location is to appeal to high-end customers.

Read more at Bloomberg

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