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Put simply, retail is a zero-sum game. If Amazon is growing by double digits, then those sales have to be coming from others. The synergies of the mall are fleeting in the age of cell phones and binge watching on Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) , Cramer said. Even low gasoline prices don't seem to be getting shoppers out of their living rooms.
But that doesn't mean that all retailers are struggling. Cramer said Costco (COST - Get Report) , a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, can do well because once people pay for a membership they often feel obligated to go. He is also a fan of Ulta Salon (ULTA - Get Report) because, try as it may, Amazon hasn't yet cracked the beauty business.
Cramer is also bullish on TJX Stores (TJX - Get Report) , which buys excess inventory from department stores and sells it at great prices, and Home Depot (HD - Get Report) , which continues to see customers investing in their homes.
A Tale of Two Jewelers
What's going on in the jewelry business? Back in October Cramer recommended Signet Jewelers (SIG - Get Report) but last week the stock sank 4% on a surprisingly weak quarter while rival Tiffany (TIF - Get Report) saw its shares rise 4% despite missing its forecasts, again.
Cramer said he was wrong in recommending Signet at $147 a share. The company had been a stellar performer, but its acquisition of Jared hit some stumbling blocks that derailed the quarter.
However, with shares now trading at $131, down near 19 times earnings, Cramer said Signet is an even better story than it was in October, especially with the integration issues behind it, he hopes.
As for Tiffany, Cramer said this company has become terrible at being able to forecast its business. The company promised, and failed, to deliver last holiday season and is once again predicting good things this season. But with shares trading at 20 times earnings, Cramer said Signet still represents the better buy.
Abercrombie's Secret to Success
The person running a company matters, Cramer reminded viewers. A good CEO can turn around a bad company while a bad CEO can do incalculable damage to a good one. But in the case of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Get Report) it looks like having no CEO is the secret to success.
That's because Abercrombie's long-time CEO retired last year and, so far, the company has not replaced him, instead choosing to run the company via a committee of three executives.
Cramer said the turnaround the committee has done over the past year has been remarkable, rolling back many of the controversial policies of old and breathing new life into what was deemed as tired brands.
Abercrombie's stock may still be down 10% for the year, but same-store sales are on the mend and gross margins are expanding. The company even managed to eke out a respectable profit last quarter, something Wall Street was not expecting.
But now that the bar has been raised, Cramer said he's doubtful Abercrombie's committee can continue to deliver the surprises Wall Street will be expecting. For that reason, he's not as bullish on the company's turnaround as he once was.
Executive Decision: Brent Saunders
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Brent Saunders, president and CEO of Allergan (AGN - Get Report) , to discuss the company's merger with Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) . Allergan is currently an Action Alerts PLUS holding.
Saunders called the deal a great opportunity for shareholders, bolting Allergan's pharmaceutical engine onto Pfizer's global distribution chassis. He said the combined company will be a powerhouse with products in all of the top-growing markets.
Saunders said the combined company will continue to have strong cash flows and remains committed to its dividend. That's why Saunders said he's personally "all in" on the deal and is not selling any of his stock.
Cramer agreed, calling the merger a good one for shareholders.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Arris Group (ARRS) , Eaton (ETN - Get Report) , Kroger (KR - Get Report) , Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - Get Report) , FireEye (FEYE - Get Report) , Intel (INTC - Get Report) , NXP Semiconductors (NXPI - Get Report) and Skyworks Solutions (SWKS - Get Report) .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer commented on the news the Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League franchise is now valued at $1.9 billion, while the once-great U.S. Steel (X - Get Report) has seen its value fall to just $1.2 billion.
Sure, the NFL provides terrific entertainment, and its dominance is unchallenged, Cramer said, but the decline of America's steel industry is simply stunning.
There's no denying America's policy of free trade with countries that prop up their industries puts U.S. companies at a disadvantage they cannot overcome. Even with all its price-cutting efforts, U.S. Steel is still expected to lose money this year.
America is letting our industries be destroyed as it continues to pursue free trade at all costs, Cramer concluded.
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