New Inflation Findings: Mega-Retailers Are Raising Prices, Turning Record Profits

December 15, 2021 Groundwork Collaborative

Today, Groundwork Collaborative released new findings highlighting the specific ways that mega-retailers are hiking up prices and short-changing the workers who support our supply chains, all while their shareholders and CEOs are raking in record profits at the expense of struggling parents, workers, and consumers.

“When people see prices going up at the grocery store they should understand that they are paying the price for rampant corporate greed and price-gouging that are hurting families and threatening our fragile economic recovery,” said Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork’s Managing Director of Research and Policy and Chief Economist. “This new report shines a spotlight on just a few examples of the appalling corporate greed on top of decades of disinvestment in our workers and supply chain, excessive corporate power, and financial markets maximizing short-term profits.”

A few examples from our recent findings:

  • Hasbro is “implementing price increases for toys and games” and has plainly stated that their motive is “to maintain our gross margin and to ensure we can achieve a 15% or better operating profit margin.”  
  • Kohl’s said it will return “a huge amount of cash to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks over the next few years,” after it reported enormous earnings results for the second quarter, thanks, in part, to price hikes
  • Best Buy said it would spend over $2.5 billion on buybacks this year, just as it hiked prices on appliances. As CFO Matt Bilunas put it on an earnings call: “that’s probably an area where, in most cases, we’ve flowed those prices onto the consumer.” 


Groundwork Collaborative: The Groundwork Collaborative’s mission is to advance an economic vision for strong, broadly shared prosperity and true opportunity for all. Visit our website and follow us on Twitter @Groundwork.