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Walmart CEO says prices for toys and sporting goods are coming down

Inflationary pressures are cooling off in a few categories as consumers stock up for the holidays, but high prices persist for many other goods.
An employee stocks shelves in the toy section of a Walmart
An employee stocks shelves in the toy section of a Walmart in Secaucus, N.J., on Nov. 22, 2022.Seth Wenig / AP

Even as inflation persists, there are some bright spots where high prices are easing, Walmart's CEO said Tuesday.

Toys, clothing, and sports equipment categories are all seeing prices come down, Doug McMillon told CNBC.

“In toys, sporting goods, apparel, and categories like that, prices have come down more aggressively,” McMillon said in the interview. “We’re still inflated but we’re not inflated nearly as much as we are in (other) categories.”

TVs, too, are benefiting from instances in which consumers are able to be less selective about their purchases as they consider pricing, McMillon said.

The categories are all ones in which big-box retailers placed large backlogs of orders as the pandemic set in. They ultimately ended up with excess inventory as supply chain hiccups eased and demand slowed down.

Other companies have recently discussed seeing similar easing of price pressures. Last month, Nordstrom president and chief brand officer Peter Nordstrom said his company continues to see lower prices in clothing categories where pandemic sales had accelerated, including home and activewear.

Meanwhile, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said during his company's third-quarter earnings call that "inflation is slowing down in many categories" of its fresh food offerings.

In the same interview on Tuesday, Walmart's McMillon warned that some grocery prices are still rising, including chicken and some dry goods.

Nationally, inflation increased 7.7% in October. The next inflation reading, for November, will be released Tuesday, Dec. 13.