What the Black Friday statistics really reveal

Cramer: State of holiday retail
Cramer: State of holiday retail   

Sometimes being an independent thinker can go a long way, especially when you are someone like Jim Cramer who is caught in a retail pickle.

He does not know whether he should trust the National Retail Federation survey of online shopping, or the actual numbers.

"When in doubt, I say go with the numbers themselves," said the "Mad Money" host.

The National Retail Federation announced on Monday morning that they saw a sharp decline in Black Friday and sluggish spending from shoppers online as well during the four-day holiday period.





A shopper has his receipt checked before leaving a Best Buy store in Westbury, New York.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
A shopper has his receipt checked before leaving a Best Buy store in Westbury, New York.

The statistics told a different story and showed Black Friday was actually a great weekend. Channel Advisors Topeka said online sales are actually up 23 percent year over year from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday.

Amazon is even up an average of 32 percent, without including Cyber Monday figures.

That doesn't sound as terrible as initially thought by the so-called experts, right?

For those who are still skeptical of the figures, Comscore—a leading internet technology company that provides digital analytics—stated that e-commerce spending rose 32 percent on Thanksgiving Day, to $1.01 billion and had a 26 percent gain to $1.5 billion on Black Friday.

Cramer understands that most thought the bricks-and-mortar companies would do much better, especially considering the decline in oil prices. However, when you go back and read the commentary from companies like Macy's and Wal-Mart, they were not nearly as optimistic, though their stocks were on fire anyways. Perhaps the reality of statistics is beginning to set in for these companies?

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"The most important takeaway, though, is not that online flopped too. It's that Black Friday in the mall is no longer as important, and online sales are more important than ever," Cramer added.

The "Mad Money" host is willing to bet that there is actually a really nice increase in consumer spending when the analysts take a look back further down the road. To Cramer, that means we should be trusting the statistics and online pros like Channel Advisor and Comscore, not an outdated analysis from the Retail Federation.

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