Macy's may have the winning formula in today's retail world. The department store giant beat earnings expectations Wednesday with a combination of reduced inventories, targeted market strategies and new merchandise.
Shares of Macy's closed up 10 percent Wednesday, the company's best day since December 2008.
But it's not just Macy's that's gaining ground in the retail race. Given the strength of the consumer, retail in general — both traditional and e-commerce — is on the upswing, said Jan Kniffen, CEO of J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide Enterprises, a retail research and consulting firm.
To survive in today's retail world, brands need to rebuild their online presence each year and restructure brick-and-mortar stores to offer new things in store," Kniffen said.
"The players that are winning are learning to play the game in this new age," Kniffen said Wednesday on "Squawk on the Street."
In fact, with increased tourism, better weather on the horizon and new fashion options, both Kniffen and Boss said the strength of the underlying consumer is strong — perhaps stronger than some investors think.
"As we move forward ... I think you're going to get solid retail numbers out of different global brands, as well as off-pricers," Boss said. "There's more fashion, there's more newness. There just seems to be a lot of underlying positives that for the last couple of years have actually been negatives for a lot of these retailers."
The winners, Boss said, are those "who can adjust to the new world of retail that's both brick-and-mortar and digital."