The head of one of the nation's largest department stores is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a bullish holiday shopping season.
As the U.S. defies a bout of global economic stagnation, "I think the consumer's starting to feel better," Terry Lundgren, Macy's chairman and CEO, told CNBC.
The recovery hasn't quite boosted retailers that much in 2014, but now that the year is winding down that may change.
"The first nine months of the year, you just haven't seen it in discretionary items, in the products that we sell in department stores," Lundgren said. He cited spending demands on consumers from health care and technology as a reason for "OK, but not great" numbers so far in 2013 for the retail industry.
"We expected the consumer to be behaving slightly differently by now," he said. Still, "I'm optimistic about what could happen and should happen," Lundgren added.