One leading retail executive is betting big on Donald Trump’s presidency.
“Donald is a smart guy. I’ve known him for a long time. The guy is brilliant,” said Mitchell Modell, CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods, at the NRF Foundation gala on Sunday in New York. “He’s an out-of-the-box thinker, and he’s not your traditional Washington guy. He hired incredibly bright people. I’m very excited about the administration.”
Modell cited the stock market’s winning streak as evidence that investors are feeling good about the road ahead.
When asked about Trump’s trade rhetoric — which could result in higher taxes on goods made outside of the U.S. — Modell said that Trump would likely change course once “he totally understands the entire picture.”
Still, he applauded Trump’s bold approach. “How many politicians would go up against CEOs and say, ‘If you don’t close that plant in Mexico, we’re going to be taxing the hell out of you,’ ” Modell said. “I don’t know one on this planet.”
As for his own business, Modell said he’s working on overhauling his retail model: “We’re going to be coming back very strongly. I’m going to be the face of the brand and out there connecting with consumers.”