As earnings reports reveal companies struggling in consumer-oriented areas like traditional retail, Jim Cramer says one growing group of consumers is causing the shift: millennials.
"These millennials, frankly, might as well be aliens. Clever, tricky aliens who just aren't bound by any of the traditional ways that most people in charge believe in," the "Mad Money" host said.
As companies try to catch up to millennials' changing attitudes, they are finding that chasing the shift is much less predictable and more difficult than many executives think, Cramer said.
Watch the full segment here:
Jeffrey Gennette, the company's new CEO, elaborated on the first-quarter declines in a conference call.
"On the consumer side, we see continuing shifts in shopping trends driven by the rapid adoption of technology, and for some of our customer segments, a greater emphasis on value and on experience," Gennette said.
The new Macy's chief added that the United States is over-saturated with retail locations, so it was not surprising for management to push for consolidation in retail square footage.
"The rapid adoption of technology refers to the smartphone and how it empowers millennial consumers, who don't want to waste their time shopping, to do a lot of homework before they go to the mall," Cramer explained. "They pick up their iPhone, they go to Google or Amazon, they compare and they contrast, and then they either go right to the store that might be having a sale and nowhere else in that mall, or they just buy from Amazon if they're too busy or they don't have a car, and yes, many of these kids don't drive — they've got Uber."
"That's why we like the stocks of Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Activision Blizzard, Constellation Brands, Domino's, Netflix and Nvidia so much. And you can substitute Electronic Arts and Take Two Interactive for Activision Blizzard, because all the video games are benefit from a similar trend," Cramer said.
As those trends continue to evolve, brick-and-mortar retailers like Macy's perpetually lose value. Even if they shutter unprofitable stores, it still hurts them, Cramer argued. Younger generations will simply grow up without exposure to traditional retailers and become online shoppers themselves.
Another area that is being forced into changing on the millennials' watch is television, the "Mad Money" host said.
"I know we've heard endlessly about the cord cutters because they don't want to spend money on that big cable bill. But this quarter is the shout out quarter to the cord-nevers, for example, we heard that on Walt Disney's conference call that it got people pretty worried," he said, referring to consumers who do not look at what institutions like Disney consider "traditional advertising."
Cord-nevers can only be reached by advertisers online, a boon to companies like Apple that provide the devices they constantly use.
And the "Mad Money" host added that two retailers may not fold to the industry's unfavorable trends: "Foot Locker, because people like to try on shoes, and Children's Place because young kids are finicky and grow up fast, which means they need to try stuff on in person."
Still, the technological, fast-paced, instantly gratified millennial upheaval is far from over, Cramer said.
"For the most part, this new world's running roughshod over all consumer-oriented entities and what we've learned from Macy's is it no longer matters if you see it coming. It runs you over anyway," he said.
Questions for Cramer?
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? firstname.lastname@example.org