The biggest retailer in the world is warning another round of tariffs could hit consumers hard.
“As we have said before, our goal is to be the low-price leader,” Walmart CFO Brett Biggs said Thursday, as the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings. “We want to manage margins with customers and shareholders in mind. We have mitigation strategies that have been in place for months. But increased tariffs will increase prices for customers.”
The White House on Monday evening released a fresh list for about $300 billion in Chinese goods that President Donald Trump has said he’s contemplating hitting with tariffs as high as 25%. The list includes everything from clothing and sneakers to sporting goods and other accessories.
That’s after the Trump administration raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods last week. But retailers, for the most part, scooted by unscathed, with many of the items impacted by that hike hurting agricultural workers more than anything else. Some consumer-related goods on that list included furniture and handbags.
Walmart said it’s “monitoring” tariff discussions closely, “hopeful that an agreement can be reached.”
The company sources about two-thirds of its good domestically, largely because of its massive food business. The remaining one-third of items comes from overseas, including from China.
Another analyst has warned the tariff hike could cause “widespread” store closures.
Walmart shares were 2.7% midday Thursday, after the company reported earnings that topped Wall Street expectations, but sales came up short.
Walmart Inc. shares were trading at $102.15 per share on Thursday afternoon, up $2.27 (+2.27%). Year-to-date, WMT has gained 10.84%, versus a 16.01% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
This article is brought to you courtesy of CNBC.