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Biden and Walmart, CVS CEOs to Meet on Supply Chain, Omicron Variant

A Monday call between Biden and top retail executives was to address bottlenecks created by supply shortages and the Omicron variant.

With the holiday shopping season well underway, President Joe Biden is meeting with top retail CEOs over supply chain disruptions and the Omicron coronavirus variant.

As reported by Reuters, a virtual call between the President and chief executives from the biggest grocery, electronics, and pharmacy retailers has been scheduled for Monday. 

A White House official told Reuters that Biden will give a speech on how to keep supply and shipment running smoothly as the new COVID-19 variant threatens further delays.

The CEOs of companies like Best Buy  (BBY) - Get Best Buy Co., Inc. Report, Etsy  (ETSY) - Get Etsy, Inc. Report, Samsung and Mattel  (MAT) - Get Mattel, Inc. Report will be welcomed at the White House while Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report CEO Doug McMillon and CVS Health's  (CVS) - Get CVS Health Corporation Report Karen Lynch will tune in virtually.

With inflation surging to a 31-year high of 6.2% in October, consumer demand is also at an all-time high as Americans emerged out of the pandemic. 

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But with lockdowns causing far-reaching supply-chain disruption, the biggest challenge is now getting inventory to shelves and into people's homes. 

Along with shortages of many popular items, the American Trucking Association estimates that the industry is currently short approximately 80,000 truckers. 

First detected in South Africa, the Omicron variant could cause further problems as many countries reinstitute travel bans. Markets declined sharply in reaction to the news on Friday. 

The call with the retail executives is meant to address the bottlenecks created by increasing demand for household items of all kinds — early data from MasterCard showed that Black Friday shopping increased by 29.6% from last year. 

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