Retail sales rose just 0.3 percent in January, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday. Most economists had expected a gain of 0.6 percent, but weaker sales at building materials stores and restaurants seem to have hampered sales.
Cramer, however, doesn't buy it. Individual retailers, like Nordstrom and Limited Brands , have recently reported positive earnings results. Federal Realty , a shopping real estate investment trust, also reported strong earnings on Tuesday.
The Rockville, Md.-based REIT owns or has a majority interest in 85 retail real estate properties totaling 18.2 million square feet across the Northeast and Middle Atlantic regions, as well as in California and Florida. With more than 2,400 tenants, it boasts a diverse customer base, too. Therefore, Cramer thinks Federal Realty's results provide a better read on retail than the Commerce Department does.
Based on Federal Realty's results that were released on Tuesday, Cramer thinks retail is doing well. Federal Realty reported $1.01 of funds from operations (the REIT equivalent of earnings), he said. Its results were 2 cents better-than-expected and 1 cent above the Street high on better-than-expected revenues. Despite bankruptcies at key tenants, it said occupancy rates remained flat. Rents on new and renewed leases were up 8 percent for the full-year.
To learn more about Federal Realty's latest quarter, its future prospects and the retail space in general, Cramer welcomed CEO Don Wood onto "Mad Money." Check out the video to see the full interview.
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