Cramer: New patterns could upend retail

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

Comments recently made by a major CEO left Jim Cramer convinced that investors must now incorporate two new ideas when thinking about stock picks.

"Earlier this week, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, released a partnership note that addressed two new trends: 1) there's been a significant downturn in traditional consumer/pedestrian traffic at malls versus on line shopping and 2) gift cards have grown significantly as gift choices, " Cramer said.

The Mad Money host believes these insights are tremendously meaningful for anyone who puts money to work in the stocks of retailers.

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"Stores that sell commodity products will likely be dinged by this trend," Cramer said, especially those that don't have an aggressive presence on the Internet. Conversely, retailers with a strong on-line presence should benefit. "Obviously Amazon is the huge winner in the shift," Cramer noted.

And, the enormous appeal of gift cards could trigger an industry-wide shift. While some retailers such as Starbucks leverage gift cards extremely well, many others are lacking. "Gift cards need to have a significant presence at the cash register to pull this off, and most retailers aren't set up for that," Cramer said.

Therefore, as investors attempt to determine if a retailer is worthy of investment, Cramer believes the trends outlined above should always warrant consideration.

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"Going forward I think we should always think of retail through the twin prisms that Schultz outlined," Cramer said. Ultimately some traditional metrics may no longer be a reliable road sign as you attempt to get a handle on a retailer's quarter.

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