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Cramer: Retailers are finally starting to buck Amazon's takeover

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer says the pickup in retailers' earnings could be coming from managements finally standing up to Amazon.
  • Cramer attributes their improving stock performance to the market finally discerning the competition in retail.

Since the stock market decided point-blank that Amazon would bring about the death of all things retail, Jim Cramer has noticed a change in sentiment that suggests that may not be the case.

"I think the market's finally starting to behave logically, at least when it comes to many phases of retail, which have been in a bear market," the "Mad Money" host said. "No one's denying that Amazon's incredibly powerful, but many blindsided retail CEOs have finally begun to come to terms with the new reality, and now, they're fighting back."

Cramer pointed to earnings reports from Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, both of which topped Wall Street's expectations and seemed to stem their stocks' Amazon-fueled losses.

While neither company reported positive same-store sales, a key metric for retail companies, shares of both retailers still climbed on the news.

"Why? Because their managements are finally acting like they have a clue, and arresting the decline is the first step in turning things around," Cramer said.

For example, Kors' management touted its digital partnerships, fashion engagement initiatives, and recently announced acquisition of high-end shoe brand Jimmy Choo.

"These kinds of old-school apparel companies need to make smart partnerships if they're going to have any hope of keeping Amazon at bay," Cramer said.

Ralph Lauren's executives also talked up the company's digital and global expansions, focusing on pushing e-commerce initiatives forward while improving the overall customer experience.

"These are all the things that Amazon's so great at. It's why we all go to Amazon. The only way to beat Amazon is by becoming more like Amazon," the "Mad Money" host said.

At the same time as these retailers differentiate themselves from the companies Amazon is likely to destroy, names like Home Depot and Children's Place are also improving their outlooks.

Analysts like JPMorgan's Matthew Boss have positive stances on the likes of TJX and Burlington Stores, too, as off-price stores begin to outpaced traditional mall-based outlets.

"Now, we know Amazon's still out there, lurking," Cramer said. "CVS today reported a good number, but not a great one, and it's very clear that Amazon's cutting into the front of its store business."

But aside from the food-based retailers, retail as a sector is starting to put up a shield against Amazon, a sign that the industry may not be erased as quickly as previously thought.

"The bottom line? Look, I am not saying Amazon's finally in the rearview mirror," Cramer said. "I just think that some retailers can survive their onslaught a lot better than others, and, at last, the stock market has started to figure that out."

Watch the full segment: Cramer tracks retail's slow comeback

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of TJX.

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