retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

• The New York Times has a story about how, “already battered by the e-commerce revolution, traditional retail stores are bracing for another blow — new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports that the Trump administration is threatening to impose.”

Here’s how the Times frames the story:

“Retailers and analysts warn the impact will be disastrous for an industry already tormented by vacant storefronts and deserted malls. The reason: Unlike earlier tariffs that mostly targeted industrial and commercial products, the next round is aimed squarely at consumer goods like footwear, toys and apparel.

“Even for healthy chains, like Walmart and Costco, the new duties threaten the business formula that helped speed their rapid rise over the last few decades: Import cheap products from Asia and sell them at rock-bottom prices. The National Retail Federation estimates that China supplies 42 percent of all apparel, 73 percent of household appliances and 88 percent of toys sold in the United States.

“The government has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.”

Analysts suggest that the imposition of higher tariffs will cause stores to close and people to lose their jobs … and will have maximum impact during the all-important end-of-year holiday shopping season. And the concern is that the almost unanimous call of by retailers on the Trump administration not to impose the tariffs will remain unheeded.
KC's View: