Cramer: Hold on for dear life, potential upside enormous

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

No matter how challenged the market may appear, there are always stocks that Cramer thinks are worth owning. In fact, in this case, he says the upside could be enormous.

It may surprise you to learn that Jim Cramer is talking about J.C. Penney.

Yes, Cramer realizes the beleaguered department store has fallen from over $40 in 2012, to $9 today. However, he thinks the fortunes of shareholders are about to change.

Daniel Grizelj | Digital Vision | Getty Images

Although he concedes the outlook had been grim, under the leadership of CEO Mike Ullman, Cramer believes that J.C. Penney has righted the ship, at least enough, for the stock to be considered a turnaround story.

And for shareholders, the shift from grim to turnaround story is significant. "A good turnaround can give you terrific, multi-year gains," Cramer said.

Last week, the "Mad Money" host outlined specifics that he felt demonstrated why Penney's was now investable. His argument included such fundamental tailwinds as improved cash position, private label brands with significant higher profit margins, the return of coupons and more.

Read MorePenney becoming viable 'turnaround story'

Then, on Monday, looking at J.C. Penney stock, Cramer compared the department store to one of his favorite turnaround stories of all-time, Rite Aid.

The drug store chain, too, faced significant business challenges, but Cramer says when Rite Aid turned the same corner, shares began a sharp march higher.

Flash forward to today, and "Rite Aid's stock has rallied more than seven-fold since its turnaround started kicking in," Cramer said.

Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
Cramer's best moves for week ahead
Cramer blesses China spec stock
Avis 'darn cheap' says Cramer

"Now it's "JC Penney's turn. The Street has only just begun to factor the turn into stock price. I think Penney has a ton of upside ahead. In fact, when a retail company demonstrates they're in the early stages of a turnaround, you'd better hold on to that stock for dear life and not let go, because the upside could be enormous," Cramer said.

And in case you're wondering, Cramer added, "I still think Rite Aid presents fantastic opportunity, too."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer?

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website?