Macy's (M) announced on Wednesday the 65 stores it plans to close in 2017 and estimates it will lay off about 10,000 workers. This announcement comes on top of the news that retail sales over the holidays were weaker than expected. Meanwhile, Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) also unveiled a fresh round of store closures.
The company will soon shut down 108 Kmart stores and 42 Sears stores by April, or about 10% of its store base.
"People are changing the way they shop, and it will make a huge difference in America," Fox Business' Stuart Varney said on "Varney & Company" on Thursday morning.
Macy's has said it might be able to sell or lease the real estate of its closed stores, noted Kingsview Asset Management Chief Investment Officer Scott Martin on the show. However, the locations are more like "graveyards" as they can't always be re-purposed for a certain company. "What do you do with those stores when you can't even sell the real estate?"
Another guest, financial coach D.R. Barton, said he doesn't have a favorite retailer name unless Amazon (AMZN) counts as an option. In a few years, everyone will be buying Macy's and Nordstrom (JWN) products directly from the e-commerce giant, he predicted.
"Amazon has won the distribution war," Barton claimed. "That's over. That's done. Everybody trying to do their own gig online is going to migrate to Amazon.com."
The future of retail is in online shopping, and even virtual reality, Trading Advantage CEO Larry Levin said. People will be able to put on a VR headset and see how they would look in different outfits.
"The only way malls are going to be able to stay around for a little while is by completely changing the experience, and it doesn't really look like they're even trying to do that," Levin claimed. "So online is really the only way to go."
Both Martin and D.R. Barton recommended getting in on Amazon's stock now and holding it for a few years.
(Amazon is held in the Growth Seeker portfolio. See all of the holdings with a free trial.)