Wal-Mart had execution problems and Kohl's has been rebranding itself during their respective lackluster quarters, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Friday, and that left room for two retailers to better connect with shoppers.
J.C. Penney shares spiked more than 15 percent Friday morning after the struggling shopping mall fixture posted a smaller-than-expected loss and beat revenue expectations after the bell on Thursday. Half a dozen brokerages raised price targets on J.C. Penney.
Shares of upscale retailer Nordstrom also saw a boost, jumping 11 percent in early trading Friday. Cramer lauded the company for its potential sale of its credit card portfolio, and for its Rack storefronts.
"They can put up 1,000 of them," Cramer said of Nordstrom's off-price options.
As for J.C. Penney, Cramer said he has faith in CEO Mike Ullman, who returned to the company last April to lead its turnaround.
"I think he can resurrect it. I've always liked Mike," Cramer said, later adding, "I urge everyone to listen to a conference call that is really about a company that has recovered that most people thought couldn't."
—By CNBC's Jeff Morganteen. Reuters contributed to this story.
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust does not own shares of either Nordstom or J.C. Penney.