Walmart, Macy’s Warn Higher Prices Are Coming

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Executives from Walmart and Macy's say they've done what they can to mitigate the tariffs Trump has imposed on Chinese goods so far, but if Trump imposes tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods, the game is over.

For their part, Macy's CEO Jeffrey Gennette has openly admitted that they have no plan at all for dealing with tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods.

Brett Biggs, Walmart's executive vice president and CFO, told Wall Street analysts during an earnings call Thursday: "We have mitigation strategies that have been in place for months. But increased tariffs will increase prices for customers." [...]

"If the potential fourth tranche of tariffs is placed on all Chinese imports, that will have an impact on both our private and our national brands," Jeffrey Gennette, Macy's CEO, said during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday.

"This potential fourth tranche of tariffs was not contemplated when we provided annual [earnings] guidance," said Gennette, who expressed hope that trade talks would continue and both nations would hold off on escalating retaliatory measures.

It seems like a fireable offense to say you didn't even consider that Trump may do the unthinkable.

In any case, we'll know in about six weeks or less whether or not Trump will push the global economy off a cliff by imposing tariffs on virtually all Chinese goods. And if he does, millions of people will start seeing higher prices at their local Walmarts and even on Amazon.

The good news, if there is any, is that groceries should continue to be relatively cheap because the agricultural industry is running out of foreign markets to sell their products to, leading to greater supply and lower prices here at home. But that too comes with hidden costs like depressed local economies and Trump's bailouts.

  • muselet

    In fairness to corporate officers, it’s easy to predict that Donald Trump will do something inappropriate and destructive, but it’s nigh on impossible to predict exactly what that something might be.

    Will Trump crater the world economy? Looks like it. He took tariffs off Canadian metals today—analysts expect him to do the same with Mexico shortly—but that only means he’s giving up on one fight out of … what, four? Five? There are still plenty of ways for him to screw it all up.

    “I am a Tariff Man.” Heaven help us.


    • And Republicans will learn NOTHING from the experience.