Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Report have struggled this year, down more than 16% as the company gears up to report its fourth-quarter earnings results Friday before the open

J.C. Penney is another apparel-selling, mall-based retailer, and that's not good, TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. 

Apparel has been very weak, he reminded investors, pointing out the "very worrisome" guidance and trends being seen at L Brands (LB) - Get L Brands, Inc. (LB) Report , a retailer Cramer had considered very consistent in the past. 

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"These are challenged companies," Cramer said of retailers that sell apparel. The mall has been disastrous as traffic continues to fall. 

While Cramer is very cautious of these mall-based retailers, he did acknowledge that some areas of retail are looking better. For instance, Nike (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report is a company he's warming up to, as the stock continues to look better and better. 

Analysts expect J.C. Penney to earn 61 cents per share on $3.98 billion in revenue for the quarter. 

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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in companies mentioned.