Some department stores struggling during peak season

As Sears is all but gone, Macy’s, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney reported lower sales for November and December—the biggest season for retailers, leaving many to wonder why department stores are struggling.

Online and e-commerce continue to do very well for some retailers, others can't seem to get it right.

Texas Retailers Association's CEO and president George Kelemen said "experience" spending trends are on the rise.

"They want to see and get an experience out of the opportunity, whether it's being at a restaurant, being at a salon, or being at a store, that's definitely a piece to the puzzle, for sure," said Kelemen.

He said stores have to learn to strike the right balance online and brick and mortar, but also timing it right.

Kelemen said it's no longer enough to just say you have a Web presence, you have a huge online presence with strong customer service.

"It's what you're doing with that Web presence. How convenient is it? How much are you promoting it to your customer base? You know, how are you combining that with getting in the store?" said Kelemen.

He said in totality, he doesn't think bad numbers for a few stores can be indicative of the overall holiday shopping season for retailers.

If the government shutdown continues, investors will not be getting December’s monthly retail sales data next week from the Commerce Department.


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