Too often, market players extrapolate the state of the consumer to any retailer that reports, Jim Cramer said on TheStreet.com TV's Wall Street Confidential

Web video ednesday. But that is not the correct way to look at it.

"There's a problem with the American consumer, and it has nothing to do with whether he's rich or poor," he said. Cramer said the problem is they don't like shopping as much as they used to at the venues everyone thought.

People don't like to shop at

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

, and they prefer not to shop at

Safeway

(SWY)

or

Kroger

(KR) - Get Report

if they can avoid it, Cramer said.

Consumers also don't want to go to the mall because it's crowded and they don't necessarily want to shop for the home because of problems surrounding the housing industry, he added. "That's the one thing that is deeply involved with the consumer, but it's restricted to

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

,

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

and

Sears

,

(SHLD)

," the last of which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,

Action Alerts PLUS.

"What you have is a consumer who wants to be entertained and a consumer who wants to feel pampered and a consumer who wants a bargain," he said. These are services

Target

TheStreet Recommends

(TGT) - Get Report

and Wal-Mart used to provide.

While Target still has some of that flair, "the reason

Costco

(COST) - Get Report

is doing well is because it's a better place to shop," Cramer explained.

People have to recognize that the era where they could conclude that if Target is good, the consumer is good, and if Wal-Mart is bad, the consumer is bad, "is an old model that no longer has to do with reality," he said.

"You'll find that places that have good experiences are going to be better than the homogeneous nature of a

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

,

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

and a

Macy's

(M) - Get Report

, which are not that attractive places," Cramer said. "Macy's in particular ... really let their stores go down because of the consolidation."

Moreover, Cramer believes Kohl's is doing OK, but not great. "The weather has played havoc with a lot of these guys," Cramer said. "They have the wrong merchandise."

Meanwhile, Costco does not have the wrong merchandise; it has a good thing going with its cheap gasoline, and "it's a more exciting, treasure-hunt place to shop," he said. "I think you're seeing a tiering here and the tiering has to do with execution, performance and fun to shop, not the consumer."

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Sears Holdings.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

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