U.S. President Joe Biden met at the White House Monday with chief executives of major retailers to learn about supply chain challenges during the busy holiday season.
“The business leaders we gathered here today represent a broad swath of American shopping: brick and mortar and online stores, national and local grocery chains, our nation’s largest retailer, and makers and sellers of toys, electronics and health supplies,” the president said.
“I want to hear from each of you about what you’re seeing this holiday season,” he told the business leaders.
The Biden administration has been struggling to fix supply chain problems, including backlogged ports and a shortage of truck drivers to haul goods across the country. The supply chain issues, fuel prices that rose markedly earlier this year and other factors have contributed to rising U.S. inflation.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said, “While we’re all concerned about the supply chain, we have more inventory than we did a year ago, and we have the inventory that we need to be able to support the business.”
He told the meeting virtually, “We are seeing progress. The port and transit delays are improving.” Walmart has seen a 26% increase in shipping containers getting through U.S. ports in the past month, according to McMillon.
Food Lion President Meg Ham told the meeting the company’s supply chain “is strong and robust, and we have ample product inside of our stores for customers to choose from during this holiday.”
The White House said other participants at Monday’s meeting, both in person and virtual, included the CEOs of Best Buy, Samsung North America, Qurate Retail Group, Todos Supermarket, Etsy, Mattel, CVS Health and Kroger.
Some information in this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.