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Cramer on retail: 'The days of the billion-dollar brands are behind this country'

  • Mickey Drexler's departure as CEO of J.Crew marks an end of "the days of billion-dollar brands" in the U.S., CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
  • "The concept of having the right merchandise at the right time has kind of abandoned us," Cramer says.

Mickey Drexler's departure as CEO of J.Crew marks an end of "the days of billion-dollar brands" in the U.S., CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday.

Cramer spoke a day after J.Crew said the 72-year-old retail veteran would step down from his post as chief executive after the specialty retailer's same-store sales have been down for several quarters and it has struggled to adapt to consumers' changing shopping patterns.

"I think the concept of having the right merchandise at the right time has kind of abandoned us," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."

Cramer said while other specialty clothing brands like Zara have adapted technologically to online shopping, J.Crew has not.

Last month, Drexler told The Wall Street Journal that he missed the signs of how quickly technology would change retail, saying, "We became a little too elitist in our attitude."

"I just think this is a horrible business," Cramer said. "And it was not a horrible business. And I don't know who can solve this conundrum. This is where the weakness is at the mall — it's apparel."

Drexler's departure came a few months after the company's longtime design chief, Jenna Lyons, announced plans to leave. Drexler will remain chairman of the company's board, and will be succeeded by James Brett in July.

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— CNBC's Christina Cheddar Berk contributed to this report.