News in brief

Walmart automates pallet packaging

Walmart Inc. is adopting an automated pallet wrapping system that it has tested in 25 of its 42 regional distribution centers.

The Bentonville-based retailer has been using the technology since 2017 at a warehouse in Florida. Walmart is now integrating the system into its regional network, the company said on Wednesday.

High-speed mobile robots will sort, store, retrieve and package cargo on pallets. A complex algorithm allows them to organize and load the freight in a dense and modular way that makes full use of the storage capacity.

Using robotics to organize and optimize freight “creates custom store and aisle ready pallets that take the guesswork out of unloading trucks,” said Joe Metzger, executive vice president of chain operations supply for Walmart US.

“In short, it is a game changer,” Metzger said. “This decision will fundamentally change the way products arrive in stores.”

Benefits of the new system include saving time, limiting stockouts, and increasing storage and unloading speed, he said. It also allows workers to learn new skills and reduces their need to handle heavy goods.

– Serenah McKay

Home BancShares Upcoming 2Q results

Home BancShares Inc. is expected to release its second quarter results before the stock market opens today.

The bank’s management team is also scheduled to hold a conference call at 1 p.m. to discuss the results.

The live call is available at (877) -508-9586 and by requesting the Home BancShares conference call. A replay will be available at (877) -344-7529, access code: 10157552. The recording is available for one week. Internet access to the call will be available live or in a recorded version on the company’s website at

Home BancShares, based in Conway, provides commercial and retail banking services through Centennial Bank branches in Arkansas, Florida, southern Alabama and New York.

Shares of Home BancShares fell 5 cents, or 0.21%, to close Wednesday at $ 23.45.

– André Moreau

Arkansas Index ends its day down

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the state’s largest public companies, closed at 629.14 on Wednesday, down 2.15.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell continued to allay investor fears of monetary tightening during testimony in Congress today, which allowed stocks to close slightly higher, led by the consumer staples and real estate sectors, ”said Leon Lants, Managing Director of Stephens Inc.

JB hunt Transport Services shares rose 1.63%. Dillard’s Inc. shares fell 2.2%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of December 30, 1997.

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