The narrative that "everybody shops online so who needs physical stores" is dangerous to the future of retailing, former department store executive Allen Questrom warned on CNBC on Friday, following a recent a run of largely dismal retail earnings.
"Every time you do $1 in digital [sales], it's probably one less reason for the customer to come into your store," said Questrom, formerly CEO of a number of retailers, including J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, and Federated Department Stores (now Macy's).
Online sales still make up a relatively small contribution to the bottom lines of many of the nation's major retailers, Questrom told "Squawk Box." The numbers back up his assertion.
U.S. e-commerce retail sales in the first quarter of 2016 accounted for 7.8 percent of total retail sales, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau.