Holiday shopping season kicks off amid worries about trade war

Global Business

Americans are hitting the stores on the busiest shopping day of the year – Black Friday. It’s the first Black Friday since consumer goods from China have been hit with tariffs. CGTN’s Karina Huber has more.

The holiday shopping season just kicked off in the U.S. with Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.

Consumers are hitting the streets and their laptops at a good time for the U.S. economy. Unemployment is near a 50-year-low and wages have risen, but U.S. consumer confidence HAS been falling on concerns over the trade war with China.

Retail analyst Burt Flickinger said some retailers will be more impacted by the tariffs than others.

He said the smart ones like Walmart, Target, and Costco worked with their partners in China to have 8 to 10 months of inventory shipped ahead of the recent round of tariffs implemented in September.

“The retailers that did not invest working capital in inventory that are paying higher prices – Petco – is an example – are paying a painful price. Some of the department stores that did not take big positions are passing along the tariffs,” said Flickinger, Managing Director at Strategic Resource Group.

Many electronics like wireless earbuds and TVs have already been hit with higher import prices as of September 1st when the U.S. slapped a 15 percent tax on 112-billion dollars’-worth of Chinese goods.

Electronics are top on the list of many shoppers’ lists.

According to the Consumer Technology Association, more than 80 percent of Americans shopping on Black Friday plan on buying tech. That’s because this time of the year is one of the best to snag deals.

“I got a ten percent discount on the Switch,” said one shopper.

“We got half off of our TV today,” said another. 

Flickinger said U.S. consumers may still be getting deals this Black Friday but he’s worried about the impact of the next round of tariffs scheduled to kick in Dec. 15.

“The tariffs will have a really strong effect and a downdraft in consumer spending in 2020 if the next round of tariffs go into effect,” he said.

Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are ongoing. The hope among retailers and consumers alike is that a deal will be reached and the tariffs won’t be implemented.