Amazon is dominating retail, but department stores poised for comeback, fmr. JCPenney CEO says

Former JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) CEO Allen Questrom, while discussing the U.S. retail landscape on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast,” told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday while he finds Amazon’s success ‘exciting’, department stores may have a leg up over the e-commerce giant when it comes to merchandising.

“I think you obviously have to be an Omni-channel, but merchandising is a creative business and what they do at Amazon is really not merchandising. They are a distribution channel,” Questrom said.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares surged nearly 5% in the last week, hovering around $1,200 per share. While Questrom attributes the recent traction to retailer’s inability to keep up with consumers’ demands, he’s not giving up on department stores just yet.

“I think it’s an exciting period because we have a lot of young, very interested people in the department store, retail business and they are going to come up and create new ideas. Capitalism is always about if you can’t stay at pace with the crowd, you’re going to get left out. And so I think your challenge is to constantly try to create and solve the problems that your customers are demanding,” he said.

Shoppers spent $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, marking the largest online shopping day in history. In Questrom’s opinion, this is a signal of a bullish consumer. 

“I think what we have, is we have a very, very different economy than it was 6 months ago,” he said. “Since the first quarter I think people feel like regulations have been reduced, businesses seem to be thriving, businesses are doing well, so I think people are feeling generally very good.”