No, it's not. Especially by the legal definition of "refund". That's why they're not calling it a refund.
an "in store credit" refund is still a refund.... if they're that hurt about it they can like you said get a cash refund.
Here's a more common-language definition of the term to assist your comprehension.
re·fund1 [v. ri-fuhnd, ree-fuhnd; n. ree-fuhnd] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to give back or restore (especially money); repay.