US tariff ripple effect could be ‘catastrophic’ for retailers, Modell’s Sporting Goods CEO says

Modell's Sporting Goods, a New York retail institution, is expecting to take a direct hit from the Trump administration’s tariffs on imports from China.

“The ripple effect in this thing could be catastrophic,” Modell’s CEO Mitch Modell told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Thursday.

In the sporting goods industry 51 percent of imports come from China, while 67 percent of team sport equipment imports, 34 percent of apparel imports, and 36 percent of footwear originates in China, according to Modell.

Modell said popular American brands have a strong presence in China and he is hoping the Beijing government will subsidize their factories. “When you look at Adidas and you look at Nike, a lot of their business is done in China itself so they want to have the impact of a lot of other smaller manufacturers,” he said.


When asked which New York baseball team fans will show its loyalty in the event tariffs will jack up prices on apparel, Modell jokingly said, “[Yankee fans] will hold the line.”

Apparel remains the company’s number one merchandise item and the top team item sold at Modell’s is from the New York Yankees.