Retail CEOs Head to Washington to Fight Proposed Border Tax
[Target Marketing’s note: Marketing a steep price increase may not be a challenge these retail, consumer electronics and auto marketers want. Marking up a $100 item to $117 is a foreseeable brand crisis.]
Chief executives of some of the country’s largest retailers, including Target, Gap, Best Buy and Autozone, headed to Washington, D.C. yesterday to make their case that a controversial tax on imports would raise consumer prices and hurt their businesses, according to people familiar with the plan. The group of eight retail bosses met with Kevin Brady, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, and with members of the Senate, four people said in recent days. Reuters couldn’t confirm the full list of participants.
Total Retail’s Take: If the proposed border tax is approved in its current form, it figures to have far-reaching implications for retailers and consumers. Consider that roughly 95 percent of the apparel and shoes sold by retailers in the U.S. are manufactured and imported from overseas. To put in perspective the impact the border tax would have on pricing, the tax on a $100 sweater imported from overseas would go from $1.75 to $17. And how would retailers protect their businesses from this added expense? You guessed it, pass it off to consumers in the form of higher prices. Certain executives in the industry are taking the lead to make sure this law isn’t passed.