WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden met with CEOs of different grocers and major retailers on the supply chain and inflation issues during holiday shopping.
“The business leaders gathered here today represent a broad swath of American shopping,” Biden said.
Companies like Best Buy, Food Lion, Samsung, Kroger, Walmart and more were there.
“We have more inventory than we did a year ago and have the inventory that we need to be able to support the business,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said.
Retail Industry Leaders Association Supply Chain Vice President Jess Dankert says plans are in place to prepare for a strong holiday season.
“They know where the products are and they know how to best get them to the endpoint, whether that’s the store shelf or to the consumer’s doorstep,” Dankert said.
But Dankert says there are still challenges.
“There’s always going to be something you need to navigate around, and that’s where the response of supply chains really do come in handy,” Dankert said.
Increasing the immediate supply of goods can help, but experts say retailers need to look into both short-term and long-term solutions.
“Companies have their own interests in making the supply chain work because otherwise, they’ve got nothing to sell,” MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics Director Yossi Sheffi said.
Sheffi says the administration can help by temporarily loosening truck driver hour regulations or allowing younger drivers to enter the system.
“The only thing that the government can do is increase flexibility, especially in the short-term,” Sheffi said.
Sheffi says as long as Americans shop early, they shouldn’t be affected. But those who wait should expect delays and higher prices.