This could be the last truly cheap Black Friday, thanks to Trump's trade war

This could be the last truly cheap Black Friday, thanks to Trump's trade war

Donald Trump shopping cart grocery store

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump pushes a shopping cart at a food distribution center in December 2017.

  • Black Friday 2018 could be the last truly cheap Black Friday due to incoming tariffs from Donald Trump's trade war with China.
  • 2018 has not seen widespread increases because the tariffs are not all in place yet, and take time to filter down to consumers.
  • By this time next year, the full effects are likely to be felt.
  • "It's almost like this year and next year are two different worlds," one retail head said.
  • Major outlets have said publicly that their prices are likely to go up soon.

This year could be the last truly cheap Black Friday, thanks to expected price increases resulting from President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Increased tariffs on Chinese goods, imposed by Trump, have so far been widely felt by the typical consumer, and this Black Friday has seen another onslaught of deals.

However, by this time next year, the consequences of measure including a 25% tariff on billions worth of Chinese goods will have made their way to store shelves, and hamper retailers' ability to offer rock-bottom prices.

Christopher Shaker, a consumer products analyst and partner at consulting firm RSM, told CNN Business: "Once you get to that 25% mark, that's when you're going to see more price increases for the end consumer."


Read more: These are the stores with the best Black Friday discounts

Major outlets like Costco, Walmart, GAP, Coca-Cola, and General Motors have commented publicly on the tariffs, and said they either plan to increase prices to cope, or are already doing so.

Macy's Black Friday

Charles Sykes/AP Images for Macy's

Shoppers at Macy's shop on Thanksgiving Day in search of early Black Friday deals.

Billions worth of Chinese goods, including handbags, wallets, and perfumes, have been subject to a 10% tariff since September, which is due to increase to 25% in January 2019.

But this hasn't had a big effect on consumers this year, as many of the items were priced before the tariffs came into effect, Rick Helfenbein, president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, told CNN Business.


Therefore two upward pressures will hit at once in 2019: prices will catch up with the 10% tariff, and then be clobbered again by the hike to 25%.

Black Friday Best Buy

Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Shoppers at a Best Buy store look for Black Friday deals.

"It's almost like this year and next year are two different worlds," Helfenbein said.

Read more: These popular brands say Trump's tariffs are forcing them to raise prices

"Shoppers may be pardoned this Thanksgiving season, but they'll be paying more come spring," he added.
Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, next week, and some hope that a dialling-down of the trade war could follow.
Tensions between the two sides appear to be waning, with the US signaling a more conciliatory stance in the trade war.

But Chinese trade negotiators canceled preliminary meetings with the US this week.

Around the same time, the Trump administration released a report which said that Beijing has done little to placate the US.