Don't get in front of the consumer freight train, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday, as he did the show from Orlando, Fla., where he's attending the 20th annual ICR Conference.
Make no mistake, Cramer added, the American consumer is alive and well and spending.
Cramer said he gleaned six things from the retail conference so far. First, this past holiday season was not a race to the bottom as many expected and retailers did not have to lure customers with deep discounts.
Second, President Trump has been good for business and a less strict regulatory environment has been a welcome one.
Third, Cramer noted that many retailers are flush with cash and will offer more dividends and buybacks. Fourth, a employment continues higher, that's good for consumer spending.
The fifth was a biggie: Some companies have actually caught up to Amazon (AMZN) in the ecommerce space and are not only omni-channel, but are using artificial intelligence, just like Amazon, to predict what customers want.
Finally, Cramer said the consumer knows value when they see it, and they're willing to spend on even luxury goods if the value is there.
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Executive Decision: Children's Place
For his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Jane Elfers, president and CEO of Children's Place Inc. (PLCE) , the children's apparel retailer that's been disproving the notion that the mall is dead.
Elfers said that Children's Place has a four-pillar strategy that includes strong products. The company has mastered design, sourcing and merchandising. It also includes technology, which has increased margins through better inventory management and is now moving toward digital transformation.
The third pillar is alternate channels of distribution, where Children's Place has partnered with Amazon and wholesalers alike. Finally, there's international, where the company now has 168 outlets in 19 countries.
As for that digital transformation, in 2010 only 9% of sales were online. Last quarter, the number was 23%. Elfers said digital will power their growth for the next three to five years.
Elfers added that the mall is not dead if you offer the right products and value. Children's Place has seen sequentially improving foot traffic for seven quarters in a row. They're also in the sweet spot to attract millennial moms that are only just now forming households and reversing falling birth rates.
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Cynicism Will Cost You
You can't afford to be too cynical in this market, Cramer cautioned viewers. This market is in "beast mode," he proclaimed, and that means you have to recognize what's working, and you can't afford to sit idly by.
Case in point: Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) , which had been lagging its peers of late. But then an upgrade of rival Carnival Corp. (CCL) sent the whole group higher, because bookings are stronger than many had forecast.
Investors can also use Target (TGT) as an example. Target had been up on takeover speculation, news which should have sent shares lower after the company posted earnings that everyone expected. Instead, Target shares popped another 2.9% today on earnings that everyone knew were coming.
Even Amazon was able to lurch still higher as price targets were raised after the stock blew past the old ones. That news kept Amazon's momentum going even more.
In all of these cases, it's easy to be cynical, but cynicism would have cost you dearly.
Executive Decision: Kohl's
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and CEO of Kohl's Corp. (KSS) , with a stock that's up 60% from its 2016 lows. The company pre-announced same-store sales that were up 6.9% during the holiday quarter.
Mansell said that Kohl's is focused on key areas including experience, proprietary brands, personalization and savings. All of these factors came together during the holiday quarter, he added.
Mansell was also upbeat on Kohl's Cash, his company's iconic rewards program. Last year, customers redeemed more than $2 billion worth of Kohl's Cash.
Also important to Kohl's: physical stores. Mansell said that if you have a physical presence, you'll be top of mind for consumers. Nearly 95% of Kohl's locations are away from malls, making them easy to get to.
Finally, Mansell noted that home goods is a segment that's becoming increasingly important, with sales up 10% during the holiday quarter.
Executive Decision: Canada Goose
In his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Dani Reiss, president and CEO of Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS) , the 60-year old family business that is now a luxury outerwear powerhouse.
Reiss started off by saying that all of their products are indeed made in Canada, where the company employs 1,500 people in six facilities. Canada Goose doesn't just make "stuff," he said, they make enduring and relevant products that are truly best in class.
Reiss added that they've found a terrific partner in Bain Capital, which took a majority stake in the company in 2013. He said the partnership has been great and Bain is very supportive of everything they do.
When asked about the fur used in some of their products, Reiss explained that all their materials are sourced ethically and responsibly, and for those who don't want fur, they have many products without it. Canada Goose gives customers the freedom to choose the styles they want and fur is always used for function first and not simply fashion.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Albemarle (ALB) , Credit Acceptance (CACC) , Best Buy (BBY) , Houlihan Lokey (HLI) , Dominion Energy (D) , American Electric Power (AEP) , Consolidated Edison (ED) , Edwards Lifesciences (EW) and Marvell Technology (MRVL) .
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