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Former J.C. Penney CEO: The only one taking Amazon seriously is Walmart

In the retail world, many are trying to stand out against Amazon, but former J.C. Penney CEO and former head of retail for Apple Ron Johnson says only one retailer is truly making an effort.

"The only retailer that's truly taking Amazon seriously is Walmart," Johnson told CNBC's "Fast Money" on Thursday. "Walmart generates five times the net income that Amazon does. Walmart has the resources to take them on."

However, Johnson pointed out that Walmart will still need to figure out how to compete better to counteract Amazon's skyrocketing growth.

"They're making a lot of moves and it's starting to pay off, but even Walmart will have trouble because if Walmart doubles its $10 billion in sales, it will add $10 billion while Amazon adds $80 billion. People have to take Amazon much more seriously," Johnson said.

For retail in general, Johnson suggested that companies should band together in order to make a real impact in taking on the e-commerce giant.

"If you look at it, collectively, they can have impact. When the industry goes together and Simon [Malls] puts together a better center, people come," Johnson said. "The super regional mall is doing well against Amazon. It's very hard for an individual store within its four walls to create an experience that can matter enough."

Johnson also suggested a few questions retailers should be asking themselves if they take on the mission to beat Amazon.

"What do you do in store to beat Amazon? What do we do with our merchandise to make sure it's differentiated and preferred? How do we price goods?" Johnson said. "I would put Amazon on the wall. I would paint it on the billboards and I would say, we are going to find a way to beat Amazon because that is what's going to change the game here."

On top of the Amazon issue, Johnson also commented about the detrimental effect on retail if the border-adjustment tax was to be implemented.

"We're in a very difficult time. Many retailers are on the brink as they begin to close stores, as the malls they're in start to close and change, so it's a very difficult environment. And you add something like a major need to put a price increase on products and it could have a very serious impact on many," Johnson said.

"Almost every retailer is forecasting comp sales flat or down next year. If you have a border tax and they're forced to raise prices, that's going to further decrease their sales and keep people out of stores."