People like brick-and-mortar retailers, just not bad ones: Hudson's Bay CEO

Getting the consumer back

Online retailers may be luring business away from brick-and-mortar shops, but consumers still like going to stores that offer the right experiences, Hudson's Bay CEO Jerry Storch said Friday.

While there was good news in June's retail sales, which saw a 0.6 percent jump from May, apparel sales dropped 1 percent. And nonstore retailers saw a 14.2 percent rise in sales in June compared to a year earlier, while department stores had a 3.7 percent drop.

"A lot of department stores are tired and ugly," said Storch, who as chief executive of Hudson's Bay, oversees names such as Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.

"People don't dislike bricks-and-mortar retail, they dislike bad bricks-and-mortar retail. They love experiences."

He told CNBC's "Power Lunch" the company is making an $800 million investment in its stores this year. It is also investing heavily in the internet, as evidenced by its $250 million acquisition of Gilt Groupe.

Mark Cohen, a Columbia University professor and a former CEO of Sears Canada, doesn't foresee a happy ending for apparel retailers this year.

"I think the influence of Amazon and others like Amazon continues to be extraordinarily pervasive," he said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

The online retailer had its biggest sales day ever on its Prime Day event Tuesday, and Cohen believes Amazon will find ways to make it even more compelling in the future.

He also thinks that the experiences that may be had in department stores like Saks are not indicative of what's happening across the country.

"Too many stores and too many malls look tired and boring and don't offer differentiated service, don't offer values that are exciting enough."