Retailers in the US are struggling due to the trade war with China. The US has proposed a new list of tariffs that targets imports from China like performance wear, windbreakers, headbands, gloves, bathing suits and ski suits. Tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these companies’ profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility.
Many retailers — and specifically those that sell clothing — have already been struggling, with the threat of tariffs hanging over them. Companies like Victoria’s Secret and Gap have been shutting stores, struggling to find ways to differentiate themselves from popular fast-fashion brands and up-start brands. Store closures announced by retailers in the US this year have already surpassed those announced in 2018. Imposing tariffs on US companies’ imports from China – goods that support US manufacturing and provide consumers with affordable products – are seen as jeopardizing American jobs and increasing costs for consumers.
In 2017, China accounted for about 41 per cent of all apparel, 72 per cent of all footwear and 84 per cent of all travel goods imported into the US. It is estimated another round of tariffs could cost an average family of four $500 a year, not accounting for other price increases suppliers might implement, beyond what the retailers are forced to do.