Arkansas Business

Drone Amazon
AP / NPR.org

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing drones that it says will help it manage its warehouse inventory more efficiently, and which it says could be rolled out in the next six to nine months across its distribution centers.

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Retail giant Walmart is betting big on grocery pickup as a way to fend off Amazon’s fresh home delivery offering. But while the efforts are being accelerated by Walmart, consumers are slow to adopt the new service, according to a study by Fayetteville-based Field Agent and consultants close to the situation.

 

Talk Business and Politics reports

Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently touted to business leaders that the state has added 42,000 new jobs and reached an all-time low jobless rate of 3.9% during the first 16 months of his administration.

Authorities say two people have been injured in an explosion and fire at a defense technology manufacturing plant in southern Arkansas.

Ron Nash, assistant chief of the Camden fire department, says a report of a possible explosion at Esterline Defense Technologies came in just before 7 p.m. Monday.

Nash says the blast affected only one building and firefighters were able to contain the blaze.

He says two people were hurt. It wasn't immediately clear if they were employees, and Nash didn't know the extent of their injuries.

Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. has announced plans to purchase Tennessee-based Citizens National Bancorp Inc. in a $77 million deal.

Simmons said in a news release Wednesday that the purchase includes 835,741 shares of Simmons common stock and $40.3 million in cash.

CNB operates nine financial centers in eastern Tennessee with assets of $552 million, loans of $352 million, deposits of $473 million and trust assets of $217 million.

Gretchen Hall
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gretchen Hall, CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, likes the numbers she sees.

Last year, Pulaski County accounted for 13,000 travel-related jobs and 6.1 million visitors who spent nearly $1.8 billion in travel expenditures. That translates into more than $31 million in travel-related local taxes and $69 million in travel-related state taxes.

Why is the capital city so attractive for visitors?

Northwest Arkansas Workers' Justice Center

A report issued last week by human rights advocacy group Oxfam America details how workers in poultry processing plants throughout the United States are often denied bathroom breaks. Some surveyed workers say they’ve resorted to urinating on themselves and wearing diapers. Oxfam partnered with several organizations around the country to compile the report.

Northwest Arkansas Workers' Justice Center

A report from international advocacy group Oxfam says poultry workers in the United States labor in a "climate of fear," with some forced to wear diapers on the job.

It says many workers are afraid to ask for permission to go to the bathroom. The report says a worker at a Simmons Foods plant in Arkansas told Oxfam that she and many others resorted to wearing diapers. A Tyson Foods worker says in the report that many workers at his North Carolina plant "have to urinate in their pants."

Tyson
Tyson Foods

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Before the market opens Monday, Tyson Foods is expected to post $403 million in net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 which ended. That equates to a Wall Street consensus of $1.03 per share, up 38% over the 75 cents per share reported in the same quarter of 2015.

The company posted net income of $313 million in the year-ago period.

rice fields
Mickey Liaw / Flickr.com

Business growth in Arkansas lost a step in April as a leading economic indicator for the region shows the state’s manufacturing, farming and energy sectors continue to shed jobs and affect overall economic expansion.

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