Some of the industry's top tech merchants (and one leading analyst) gathered in January for TWICE's annual Retail Executive Roundtable at CES. The following excerpt is one thread from the larger conversation, which we’re serializing this week online.
TWICE: How will the Trump administration’s new tax legislation affect retailers, and independent dealers in particular?
David Workman, ProSource: It should be positive. Retailers lay naked basically in the tax rate that they pay. They don’t have a lot of the benefits that manufacturers and other entities have unless you are taking a huge tax loss carried forward or something like that, which obviously speaks to other issues.
When I was with [multiregional CE chain] Ultimate Electronics, Uncle Sam was there as the silent partner for 35 percent of any dollar you made, and the tax bill is effectively reducing that rate to the retailers. How can that not be a positive, along with, of course, the corresponding benefit with consumer confidence and the other things that go into it? I don’t see how it can’t be positive for retailers. I don’t see a downside.
Tom Hickman, Nationwide: Any time you have an administration that’s pro-business, presumably it’s going to be better for our business.
On the surface, the new tax plan looks fantastic for business. The frustration for our membership from prior administrations has been the bureaucracy, red tape and a lot of regulations. On the broad surface, whenever you have a pro-business administration, it should be good for our channel. When you don’t, it’s not.