Mad Money

Cramer: Wal-Mart has an ill-fated Christmas ahead

Cramer: Wal-Mart has an ill-fated Christmas ahead

Everywhere Jim Cramer goes investors always ask him if they should be buying Wal-Mart stock. They want in because they like the yield, and think there could be a big turnaround ahead.

"I agree that Wal-Mart has a decent sized yield. However, I think that the yield can get bigger, and not from the way you'd like," the "Mad Money" host said.

This is because Cramer thinks Wal-Mart can still go lower. Yikes.


If you don't think my ideas could get people into stores then I have wasted a lifetime of studying retail
Jim Cramer

To start, Target announced on Thursday night that it would suspend shipping costs for products purchased on its website starting this weekend into the holidays. Meanwhile, last year Wal-Mart had free shipping for orders over $50. Cramer thinks this is a huge mistake given Wal-Mart's lower income demographic.

This was just one of the moves made by Target, led by CEO Brian Cornell that made this company look even better to Cramer these days. Its turnaround strategy coupled with an aggressive web strategy and fantastic private label brands have simply amazed him.

But there is one thing that Wal-Mart has going in its favor that the competition does not — the guide down. It has now taken out all of the expectations on its projections. That means it could do something bolder than anyone out there.

Can they do it?

"Not with the current offerings and plans, they can't. What do they need to do? After they have upgraded their talent and spruced up their stores, they can, because of their massive cash flow, try something very different and gutsy," Cramer said.

Cramer drafted a few out-of-the-box ideas of what Wal-Mart could do, especially if it has boat loads of cash to play with and doesn't care about earnings. It could strike a deal with T-Mobile, and offer to slice phone bills low. Then they could take the savings and spend it at Wal-Mart.

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Or it could offer customers free internet if they spent $100 at or $50 on specialty marked items in store. Heck, it could even tell Howard Schultz from Starbucks that it will give away coffee for free to anyone with a Wal-Mart credit card and reimburse Starbucks for the coffee.

"That's why I didn't want CEO Doug McMillon to commit to that $20 billion buyback over the next two years. These ideas might cost half of that, but it would be better to use that money than propping up the un-proppable," Cramer said.

With this in mind, the "Mad Money" host has therefore determined that this will be an Amazon-Target Christmas.

"If you don't think my ideas could get people into stores then I have wasted a lifetime of studying retail through my father's eyes, and no one knew retail better than that man," Cramer said.

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