Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said the department store is in a "great position" this holiday season.
Lundgren estimates between 9,000 and 10,000 shoppers lined up outside the retailer's flagship store in New York's Herald Square for the kick-off of Macy's "Black Friday"sales.
"That says something about the excitment for the bargains that people are getting today," Lundgren told CNBC. However, he declined to comment on what the large crowds say about the state of the U.S. consumer.
Retail industry trade group The National Retail Federation estimates that 152 million people will shop during Thanksgiving weekend, up about 10 percent from last year.
Macy's has had same-store sales growth of about 5.3 percent in the year-to-date period, which according to Lundgren is the strongest it's seen in a decade.
He sees that momentum continuing into the holiday season.
"There is no reason why the momentum in our case should not continue," he said. "If things slow down overall, we think we'll just capture more market share than we've been capturing all year long. So we're in great position."
According to Lundgren, Macy's has benefited from strong sales of accessories such as handbags, shoes and cosmetics, as well as improvements in its men's business and parts of its home furnishings business. Still, apparel sales have been weaker, in part due to milder temperatures in the Northern U.S., which have led to less demand for winter clothing.
"When it does get cold, we'll sell coats and we'll sell gloves and all those categories," he said. "And that, for me, is going to be bonus."