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US Retailers Poised To Meet Consumer Demand During Holiday Season

bidenretail nov30 lt

President Joe Biden hosted a roundtable with a diverse group of leading American retailers to discuss their outlook for the holiday shopping season, and the steps companies have taken to meet consumer demands.

Biden explained his Administration's work to strengthen the supply chains, lower everyday costs for families and ensure that shelves are well-stocked this holiday season.

The President shared a message directly to Americans consumers: "Throughout the holidays, products will be on shelves and consumers will be able to purchase what they want and need."

The business leaders noted the strength of their supply chains, especially for seasonal items. They highlighted ways they had planned ahead, diversified their supplier base, sourced new products, and partnered closely with suppliers to be ready to meet the seasonal demand. The result of this planning is evident in their high inventory levels and high on time delivery rates.

The meeting also highlighted steps companies have taken to overcome supply chain bottlenecks and the progress they are seeing at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Participants noted that the backlog at these ports has decreased.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon highlighted a 51 percent improvement in his company's throughput at the ports due to the work of the federal Port Envoy.

"We think we're going to have a really good holiday season," he told the meeting. McMillon added that the retail giant's inventory levels are up by more than 10 percent.

The President noted the progress made at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where the number of long dwelling containers has dropped by more than 40. It is an important sign that velocity and fluidity are coming back, according to the White House.

Biden said early estimates show that Black Friday sales were up 30 percent compared to last year. "And we are in the midst of a retail boom with retail sales up double digits every month in 2021 compared to the previous year". In October retail sales were up 15 percent compared to last year.

Many retailers initiated Black Friday deals as early as October, and many Americans did their holiday shopping earlier than usual, spreading out the impact of holiday season shopping.

KS Choi, Samsung North America President and CEO, said at the meeting that as consumer demand for tech products continues to be unprecedented, the electronic giant is committed to ensuring U.S. consumers have the appliances and electronics they want.

"We applaud President Biden for taking action to drive the public/private collaborations that are helping solve supply chain challenges that otherwise could impact the holiday season. Since the White House roundtable on port congestion, as promised we have ramped up our capacity and have significantly reduced our backlog at the Ports of LA and Long Beach, which helps ensure we will deliver on our consumers' holiday purchases," he told the gathering.

Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy; Carlos Castro, CEO, Todos Supermarket; Meg Ham, President, Food Lion; Ynon Kreiz, CEO, Mattel; Karen Lynch, President and CEO, CVS Health; Rodney McMullen, CEO, Kroger; David Rawlinson, President and CEO, Qurate Retail Group; and Josh Silverman, CEO, Etsy, were among other business leaders who attended the roundtable.

Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese and Cedric Richmond, Director of Office of Public Engagement, were also prseent there.

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