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Cramer: Nordstrom is 'mad as hell' that it gets no respect on Wall Street

  • A private Nordstrom would allow more spending to keep up with Amazon without getting killed for it by the investment community, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • Members of the Nordstrom family have formed a group to explore a "going private transaction" involving the purchase of all outstanding shares.
  • The Nordstrom family owns about a 31.2 percent stake in the retailer, according to a SEC filing.

Jim Cramer
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Jim Cramer

Nordstrom's decision to explore going private would allow the retailer the flexibility to spend more money on e-commerce to make up ground against Amazon without incurring the wrath of Wall Street, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday.

"One of the things Nordstrom has really felt awful about is every time they spend to keep up with Amazon the analysts hate them," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "They want to open up a few more stores. And everybody feels like, 'Why are you spending, why are you spending, why are you spending.'"

Shares of Nordstrom soared as much as 18 percent in regular trading Thursday morning after the retailer announced that members of the Nordstrom family have formed a group to explore a "going private transaction" involving the purchase of all outstanding shares.

In a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nordstrom family said it owns about a 31.2 percent stake in the company.

"What they're saying is, 'We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.' We have nothing but profitable stores," Cramer said. "They want the whole. They want what they see, which is they have a very good e-commerce … [and] profitable stores. They just think their stock got too cheap."

As of Wednesday's close, before the possible go-private news, shares of Nordstrom were down 14 percent year to date and had fallen 41 percent over the past three years.

"Basically what Nordstrom is saying is you know what, 'Even if Amazon just comes out with both barrels, we still have a business. And if you don't like it, we'll take it,'" Cramer said. "The family wants to put its money where its mouth is."

But Cramer said going private, if that does indeed happen, comes with risks as well. "This is a dicey thing if you're in the Nordstrom family, dicey. Amazon has only accelerated," he added.