訂閱

多平臺閱讀

微信訂閱

雜志

申請紙刊贈閱

訂閱每日電郵

移動應用

商業

進口商品關稅大漲,沃爾瑪已做好“過冬”準備

Matthew Boyle, 彭博社 2019年06月17日

沃爾瑪上線內部工具“成本變化預案”,表明隨著美國繼續對中國進口商品加征關稅,沃爾瑪已做好了應對成本大幅大漲的準備。

圖片來源:Joe Raedle—Getty Images

沃爾瑪已經升級了其供應商每天使用的供應信息網絡,以便于他們及時上報受中國進口商品關稅上漲造成的成本增加情況。

此舉表明,作為全球最大零售商、每年要銷售幾十億美元中國進口商品的沃爾瑪,現在也不得不在日常運營中考慮關稅的現實壓力。在前一段的貿易戰中,美國雖然對中國商品加征了幾輪關稅,但并沒有給沃爾瑪造成什么實際影響。不過現在情況不同了,美國最近先是對箱包、家具等價值2000億美元的中國商品加征了25%的關稅,然后又啟動對服裝、鞋類和電子產品等價值3000億美元的中國商品加征關稅。沃爾瑪在貿易戰中已經無法再置身事外。

根據彭博社獲得的沃爾瑪公司的內部備忘錄和電子郵件顯示,沃爾瑪從一年前開始,啟用了一個名叫“成本變化預案”的內部工具,目前已經推廣到了各個產品類別。

這個在線應用此前從未被公開報道過。據傳,它取代了以往必須由供應商手動填寫的Excel表格,供應商可以更快速便捷地從菜單里選擇成本變動的原因,比如關稅、勞動力、運輸和原材料等等。

關稅可能“抹去”零售利潤

美國的開學季和圣誕購物季已經不遠了,然而中國進口產品關稅問題的不確定性,卻給正在與亞馬遜和塔吉特百貨等競爭對手角力的沃爾瑪帶來了額外的壓力。

據Evercore ISI公司的分析師格雷格·梅利奇估計,25%的關稅一旦付諸實施,可能會導致美國物價全面上漲,甚至有可能“抹去”美國各大零售商的利潤增長。

沃爾瑪的首席執行官董明倫在上周表示:“我希望這個問題能夠得到解決,但它顯然不是我們可以控制的。”

該工具是干什么用的?

該工具的名字“成本變化預案”也體現了零售業供應鏈的現實格局——供應商設定特定商品的成本,沃爾瑪則控制商品上架后的零售價格。當供應商提高了商品成本,零售商就必須決定,對這部分上漲的成本是自己消化,還是傳導給消費者。前者肯定會影響利潤,后者則會影響銷量,因為消費者可能會選擇到其他地方去購買。

彭博社獲得的文件顯示,沃爾瑪以前的成本變動表格按產品類別又分成好幾類,而且不允許供應商選擇關稅作為成本上漲的理由。不過相比于其他成本變動原因,目前尚不清楚供應商們是否已經頻繁選擇關稅作為成本上漲的理由。

沃爾瑪升級后的成本變動管理程序位于它的“零售鏈”(Retail Link)系統中,這個系統是20世紀90年代研發的,主要為了滿足供應商對銷量和存貨的動態管理需求。經過這些年的持續改進,該系統已經具備了數據挖掘功能,使供應商能夠預測哪些商品將具有較高需求。在沃爾瑪位于阿肯色州本頓維爾的總部周邊,還有一群所謂“零售鏈”的專家在幫助供應商解讀這些數據。

撬動杠桿

沃爾瑪在上月表示,將盡一切努力將商品價格保持在低水平,比如與供應商談判,以及在中國以外尋找新的制造業產地等。

董明倫上周在對分析師的報告中表示:“我們將竭盡所能,盡量讓我們的顧客感受不到此事的影響,動用我們所有的杠桿。”

同時沃爾瑪也警告稱,有一些商品的漲價是不可避免的,比如自行車等。該公司的財務總監布雷特·比格斯在5月16日接受采訪時表示:“關稅上漲必然導致價格上漲。”

而另一方面,關稅上漲導致的物價上漲,也會降低消費者的可支配收入,從而限制了他們能夠買到什么,以及可以花多少錢買東西。(財富中文網)

譯者:樸成奎

Walmart Inc. has updated the information network used daily by its suppliers to let them submit cost increases directly attributable to higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

The move shows how the world’s largest retailer, which sells billions of dollars of goods made in China annually, is incorporating the reality of tariffs into its day-to-day operations. Walmart emerged relatively unscathed from the first rounds of tariffs on imports from America’s largest trading partner. But that’s changed, with the U.S. bumping levies to 25% on $200 billion of goods, including handbags and furniture, then initiating a separate process to tax another $300 billion, including clothing, shoes and electronics.

The retailer began using the tool, dubbed Cost Change Scenario, a year ago and has been rolling it out across product categories, according to internal memos and emails obtained by Bloomberg.

The online application, whose existence hasn’t previously been reported, replaces Excel-based forms, which vendors had to fill out manually. The new process is quicker and lets vendors choose a reason for the cost hike from a menu, which includes tariffs, labor, transportation, and raw materials.

Tariffs could “wipe out” retail profits

The uncertainty surrounding Chinese tariffs has made their job tougher as Walmart gears up to battle rivals Amazon.com Inc. and Target Corp. during the back-to-school and holiday selling seasons.

Greg Melich, an analyst at Evercore ISI, estimates the latest tranche of 25% tariffs, if instituted, would prompt across-the-board price increases and “wipe out” profit growth among big U.S. retailers.

“I hope that this gets sorted,” McMillon said last week, “but we obviously don’t control that.”

How the tool works

The tool’s name Cost Change Scenario reflects realities of retail supply chains: While suppliers set the cost of particular items, Walmart controls the final price on the shelf. When suppliers raise the cost of a product, retailers have to decide whether to absorb some or all of that increase, taking a hit to profit, or simply pass it along to consumers, which could hurt sales if they choose to shop elsewhere for the product.

Walmart’s previous cost-change forms varied by product category and didn’t let suppliers choose tariffs as the impetus for changes, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg. It’s unclear how often suppliers are currently citing tariffs as a reason for cost hikes, compared with other issues.

The retail giant’s updated cost-changing process is housed inside its Retail Link system, which it developed in the 1990s to provide vendors with up-to-date information on sales and inventory levels as its business rapidly expanded. The system has evolved over the years, and today includes data-mining capabilities that let suppliers predict what items will be in high demand. Around Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, self-proclaimed Retail Link Specialists help suppliers interpret the data.

Pulling levers

Walmart said last month it will do everything it can to maintain low prices it’s famous for, such as negotiating with suppliers and finding new sources of manufacturing outside of China.

“We’re going to do the best we can to manage through this in a way that our customers don’t feel it, pulling all the levers that we’ve got,” chief executive officer Doug McMillon said in a presentation to analysts last week.

But Walmart has warned higher prices on some items, such as bicycles, are inevitable. “Increased tariffs lead to increased prices,” chief financial officer Brett Biggs said in a May 16 interview.

In turn, higher prices caused by tariff increases reduce consumer’s disposable income, which limits what and how much they can buy.

我來點評

  最新文章

最新文章:

500強情報中心

財富專欄

香港马会内部免费资料一肖中特