Department stores are "trading as if they're going to die" but there is an opportunity for them to save themselves, venture capitalist David Strasser told CNBC on Thursday.
"The one thing good about department stores is they have a lot of cash," the managing director at Swan & Legend Venture Partners said in an interview with "Closing Bell."
"They have to really rethink their businesses entirely. Look at what's out there and the opportunities to really buy innovation and buy customer relationships."
Retail stocks fell sharply on Thursday after Macy's reported earnings, revenue, and same-store sales that all missed estimates. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) shed 2.7 percent, while Macy's shares plunged 17 percent.
Strasser's firm invests in those specialty e-commerce companies he thinks would be good acquisitions for department stores, like framing business Framebridge or CustomInk, a custom t-shirt company.
"There's a lot of energy out there and a lot they can bring to these bigger companies," he said.
However, retail analyst Liz Dunn believes that will be challenging for department stores, whose "business is clearly broken."