Welcome to the era of trade chaos for retail.
Beginning in May, retailers lived with the official reality that a huge swatch of Chinese goods — known as “tranche four” and covering pretty much everything that hasn’t already gone through tariff increases already — would get a 25% tariff. Retailers and analysts from nearly every sector warned of price hikes for consumers, disruptions to their supply chain and margin hits. Some companies began rushing in imports to beat the tariffs.
And then the industry got a respite, as the Trump Administration hit the pause button on the tariffs and opened up trade talks with Chinese leadership.