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Retail businesses 'have to be aware' of China, says Shopify COO

Major retail stocks like Nordstrom (JWN) and Kohl’s (KSS) tanked in Thursday’s session, as the sector braces itself for President Trump’s next wave of China tariffs, effective September 1.

Shopify (SHOP) COO Harley Finkelstein joined Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round on Thursday to discuss his company’s second-quarter earnings report, and echo analyst warnings of an imminent hit against the retail space.

Retail businesses ‘have to be aware’ of China

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that supports 800,000 digital merchants, including Kylie Cosmetics.

“The majority of our merchants are U.S. merchants who ship to U.S. customers,” explained Finkelstein. “But obviously, if you’re in the retail space or the commerce space, you have to be aware of what’s happening right now in China.”

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Shopify on Thursday reported earnings that far surpassed analyst expectations, and Finkelstein said that could be good news about the strength of the consumer.

“In the second quarter alone, [Shopify merchants] sold more than $13.8 billion. We’re seeing large brands and small brands all have really wonderful selling seasons right now,” explained Finkelstein. “Generally, if you ask about consumer confidence, it seems like consumers are purchasing — and they’re purchasing, for the most part, direct from the manufacturers, direct from the brands themselves.”

Olivia Balsamo is a writer and producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @BalsamoOlivia.

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