Biden meets with major retail CEOs to talk supply chains

The CEOs of Walmart, Kroger, Best Buy and others were part of the roundtable

President Biden held a roundtable with the leaders of some of the nation's largest retailers and manufacturers on Cyber Monday to discuss supply chains as part of the White House's effort to assure Americans that the products they seek will be available during the ongoing holiday season.

Joe Biden ceo roundtable

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks while meeting with chief executive officers to discuss the holiday shopping season in the EOP Library of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. (Photographer: Oliv (Photographer: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BBY BEST BUY CO. INC. 96.10 -0.82 -0.85%
KR THE KROGER CO. 45.40 +1.02 +2.30%
SSNLF SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO. LTD. 57.75 +57.38 +15,382.41%
MAT MATTEL INC. 19.86 -0.60 -2.93%
WMT WALMART INC. 135.84 +0.09 +0.07%
CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 106.79 +1.93 +1.84%

The attendees at the White House included Best Buy CEO Corie Barry, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, Samsung CEO KS Choi and Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch both attended virtually.

Biden said early estimates show Black Friday shopping and Small Business Saturday sales appear to be way up from last year, and he asked his guests how the federal government could "continue partnering" with the major companies "to keep shelves stocked so American consumers can get what they need."

shopping retail

People shop at a Walmart in Rosemead, California on November 22, 2021, where a few empty shelves were seen in an otherwise well stocked store amid improvements in the supply chain crisis for the end of year holiday season. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

CYBER MONDAY SHOPPING: CONSUMERS PROJECTED TO SPEND UP TO $11.3B

Food Lion President Meg Ham was first to speak, reporting that the grocery chain's "supply chain is strong and robust, and we have ample product inside of our stores." Ham went on to praise the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package Biden signed a few weeks ago.

Walmart's McMillon told the gathering, "We think we're going to have a really good holiday season," saying that the world's largest retailer's "inventory levels are up more than 10%." He explained, "So while we're all concerned about the supply chain, we have more inventory than we did a year ago and have the inventory that we need to support the business."

Biden Walmart Doug McMillon

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: U.S. President Joe Biden listens as the CEO of Walmart Doug McMillon speaks remotely at a hybrid virtual roundtable with CEOs and leaders of retail, consumer products firms, and grocery store chains in the Eisenhower Exe (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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McMillon went on to say that "the port and transit delays are improving" and he credited the Biden administration's actions for what he said was a 51% improvement in the flow of the retailer's products at southern California ports over the past four weeks.

The meeting was held as several industries have warned consumers that there will be shortages of some products during the holidays due to various factors such as delays in obtaining raw materials and transit issues.

Biden was also slated to deliver separate remarks on the topic of supply chains following the meeting, but the White House abruptly cancelled the event just minutes before he was expected to take the podium.