US President Joe Biden met with chief executives of several major retailers and other companies, including Samsung Electronics of South Korea, to discuss efforts to tackle the global supply chain bottlenecks for the holiday shopping season, the White House said.
Biden hosted the roundtable session with CEOs from businesses that sell electronics, toys, clothing, and other items, following the start of the Black Friday holiday shopping season in the shadow of Covid-19 and the omicron variant.
Choi Kyung-Sik, CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, was among those who attended the meeting held at the White House, along with executives from Best Buy, Food Lion, Qurate Retail Group, Todos Supermarket, Etsy, Mattel, and Kroger. Leaders of Walmart and CVS made virtual appearances, the White House said.
“The business leaders gathered here today represent a broad swath of American shopping,” Biden said in his opening remarks. “I want to hear from each of you about what you’re seeing this holiday season, how well prepared are you to have products you need on your shelves, and how you have innovated and hired to overcome these supply chain challenges you have.”
The Biden administration has been taking measures to try to break supply chain glitches amid concerns over rising US inflation, which hit a 31-year high in October, reports Yonhap news agency.
“The event follows early estimates that Black Friday sales were up nearly a third since last year,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing. “In-store sales were up by even more than that.”
Biden will directly deliver a message of a robust holiday shopping season to American consumers after the meeting with business leaders, Psaki said.