Do they know something that they aren’t telling us? As you will see below, Walmart, Target and other major U.S. retailers are literally canceling billions of dollars in orders ahead of the coming holiday season. I have never heard of such a thing happening before, and under normal conditions it wouldn’t make any sense at all. The holiday season is typically the busiest time of the year for retailers, and at this time in 2021 there was actually a great deal of concern that there wouldn’t be enough inventory due to global supply chain problems. But now everything has changed. All of a sudden major retailers are feverishly canceling orders, and this would only make sense if a severe economic downturn was imminent.
For example, Walmart is admitting that it has canceled “billions of dollars in orders” as we approach the upcoming holiday season…
John David Rainey, Walmart’s EVP and CFO, said it had cleared most summer inventory, was reducing exposure in electronics, home and sporting goods, and canceled “billions of dollars in orders” to realign inventories. He said, “Our actions in Q3 will allow us to make significant progress toward rationalizing absolute levels and mix, which will enable our stores to be well positioned ahead of the holiday season.”
It is extremely odd that Walmart would decide to do such a thing.
Recently I had an opportunity to stroll through a Walmart, and there were plenty of inventory holes.
So what would make them suddenly cancel “billions of dollars” in orders that they thought that they were going to need for the holiday season?
Perhaps some enterprising reporter will be willing to ask them such a question.
Target said it had reduced its “inventory exposure in discretionary categories” throughout Q2 by canceling more than $1.5 billion of orders in these categories and marking down products.
Target is much smaller than Walmart is, and so for Target to cancel so many orders is a really big deal.
And it turns out that Kohl’s and Under Armour have also been canceling large numbers of orders as well…
Kohl’s has also pulled back on order receipts and increased promotions to get through an inventory glut.
“We have taken action to address inventory, including increasing promotions, being aggressive on clearing excess inventory and pulling back on receipts,” said Kohl’s CFO Jill Timm in a call with investors.
Under Armour also said it made some proactive cancellations due to supply chain constraints to ensure that “the right inventory was coming in at the right time,” said interim president and CEO Colin Browne in a call with investors.
These retailers are obviously scared that they will end up stuck with massive amounts of inventory that they cannot sell.