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Macy's CEO optimistic on consumer, off-price stores

Macy's CEO: Consumers in good shape

Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren is feeling pretty optimistic about the state of the consumer as well as the retailer's off-price stores set to roll out in the fall.

The CEO told CNBC that he believes consumer spending on discretionary products will pick up this year and that could boost Macy's business.

"The consumer is in pretty good shape. They've had a big raise, if you will, due to oil prices. They're saving more than they have in the past," Lundgren said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

"What I would suspect will happen is over time, particularly in the back half, that they'll be spending more and more on discretionary products that we would sell. So I'm pretty optimistic about how I look forward for the consumer in 2015."

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In February, the retailer announced it achieved a 14 percent adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] rate, an accomplishment Lundgren said he was proud of.

"There's not many retailers in the world, in [the] department store sector in the world, actually, that have made 14 percent EBITDA rate," he said. "I'm happy about that part. Now it's just about top line sales with that high level of profitability."

Part of Macy's growth plan is opening off-price stores, which are set to roll out in the fall. While other major department stores already are in the off-price sector, Macy's only has 13 Bloomingdale locations and no Macy's stores.

Lundgren isn't concerned that the new locations will cannibalize business from its full-line stores.

"Like all companies you have these paths for growth, and you've got to keep looking for the next one. So for us, we're not in the off-price business and a lot of the growth is coming in that category," he said.

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Macy's is also looking to expand internationally, having already announced Macy's and Bloomingdale's will open in Abu Dhabi.

"We're barely in this business of international," he said. "There is going to be more on the international scene for Macy's and Bloomingdale's."

Earlier this year, Macy's announced it was going to close 14 stores in the spring, representing about $130 million in annual sales. The changes are part of the company's target to generate savings of $140 million a year starting in 2015, which it hopes to reinvest in new technology and to offset growing expenses from health care and retirement plans.

—CNBC's Hailey Lee contributed to this report.