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Three things department stores must do: Ex-Saks CEO

What retailers must do: Fmr. CEO

Department stores are seeing an epic fall in holiday sales as consumers defect to online shopping.

The issue recently caught the attention of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, which found department store sales are at their lowest level in nearly 25 years. And, MasterCard is reporting department store sales were flat year over year during the Black Friday weekend, while online sales rose by double digits.

However, one of the retail industry's biggest insiders sees ways to bring shoppers back.

Read More Death of retail 'greatly exaggerated': Macy's CEO

You have to win by incorporating in-store and moblie shopping, former Saks Chairman and CEO Steve Sadove told CNBC. In other words, department stores must be able to offer consumers a solid omnichannel experience.

"A lot of companies are innovating right now but they have to do it faster. ... They have to invest in the store base and they have to invest in the technology, " Sadove said on "Fast Money" last week.

Retailers like Amazon, which recently announced plans for drone delivery and launching its own fleet of trucks, are "setting the tone," Sadove said. "You have got to be able to do what Amazon does in terms of delivering the shopping experience, and that is what the consumer expects."