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Macy's Lundgren says 'great valuations' are fueling retail's appetite for M&A

As Macy's looks to turn around its business and end a two-year streak of same-store sales declines, Executive Chairman Terry Lundgren said a merger or acquisition could eventually be on the table.

"We look all the time," Lundgren, who ended his stint as CEO last month, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "I think there's some great valuations in stock prices of companies that are well funded and that look like they have a runway for success in the future."

The question is whether those companies would be the right fit for Macy's, Lundgren said. He added that the retailer has no acquisitions on its plate at this time, noting it has historically been conservative in snatching up new retail brands.

The company's last acquisition was roughly two years ago, when it bought beauty retailer Bluemercury for $210 million.

Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy's
David Orrell | CNBC
Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy's

Lundgren, who previously served as the chain's CEO for more than a decade, added that recent speculation about a potential deal with Canadian department store operator Hudson's Bay was "overblown." Those reports had indicated that Hudson's Bay had approached its much-larger competitor, and had its sights set on Macy's real estate.

M&A activity in the retail space has heated up recently, as traditional chains look for ways to compete with online retailers like Amazon. Wal-Mart acquired Jet.com last year and has since been on a buying binge in the e-commerce space. And earlier this week, Re/Code reported that Petsmart would acquire digital pet store Chewy.com for $3.35 billion.

Lundgren's comments came from the Global Retailing Conference, in Tuscon, Ariz., where new Macy's chief Jeff Gennette is speaking Friday. CNBC will have an exclusive interview with Gennette at 1 p.m. Eastern.

The new CEO is expected to speak more about Macy's strategy under his leadership.

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