Daddy Warbucks

Ah, the glorious 4th of July is almost here. Have you noticed the decline in holiday sales, usually reserved for this time of year? There is a slump in the economy and the word “stagflation” is being buffeted about by the Sage of Omaha, Warren Buffett.
Yes “the recession” has been a little “bump” for Wal-Mart’s U.S. line, but in truth, the retail giant has reassessed its plans for U.S. store expansion. In reality they are taking a breather after being hit over the head, again and again by city councils, neighborhood groups and other preservation organization that do not want a Super Center in their backyards. Also, it doesn’t look like Wal-Mart’s big urban push has been as profitable as the company would like its investors and others to believe.
The nudging upwards of unemployment in Washington County—up some 1 percent over a year ago—and the same unemployment rate for Benton County as a year ago, does not bode well in this the job-rich NW corner of the state.
Signs for an immediate recovery with grocery and gasoline prices climbing seem distant. Many are waiting for the outcome of the November election, but even then, there’ll probably be a 100-day or six-month economic lag before hopefully, a kick-start for the American economy. All we can do it wait and watch.
The parent company of Mercy Medical in Rogers has now released 18 employees on one day and 25 more on another day. Daddy hears more cuts are coming.
There are some rogue airline websites out there predicting the closure of smaller airports and the reduction of flights all over from the big airports to the little commuter airports like XNA and Fort Smith’s puddle jumper airport. There is already a reduction in flights out of XNA and this fuel crisis can only lead to more cuts. Will there still be air service at Fort Smith? Sure, but it may be cut drastically.
The Jefferson Bus Lines is advertising that folks “Jump On Jefferson,” rather than pay high fuel prices to travel this summer. A novel idea. One has to wonder if the old bus ticket prices have gone up to go see Grandma?
Tyson Foods continues to shed its unprofitable areas. This past week it sold a box beef plant to a Canadian firm. The box beef is a rather low-end cut of beef sold for ready-made meals and pet foods.
With more stable financial management and the sales of low-end profit makers, Tyson stock rallied this week above the $15 a share price for the first time in a while.
It looks like the Home Depot stores may be a recycling center for the new compact fluorescent bulbs. The new energy saving, but higher priced bulbs contain mercury and should not be thrown into the trash. They are supposed to last longer too.
The April Advertising and Promotion numbers for Fayetteville’s eateries looks like Golden Corral is again at No. 1. Those in sports two through five are: Chartwell’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Chick-Fil-A in the NWA Mall. Slots six to 10 went to: Logan’s Roadhouse, Shogun, Chick-Fil-A on Razorback Road; Chilli’s and Noodle’s.
The Clarion Inn emerged as the No 1. revenue generating hotel in Fayetteville according to the A&P numbers. Others on the list: Hampton Inn, Inn at Carnall Hall; Courtyard by Marriott and Holiday Inn Express.
It’s a shame that the Equity Media Group is in a slump. They closed the Fayetteville newsroom, which did a nice job in covering the area’s news in Spanish. The local reporter, Jocelyne Purna, who’s an almost one-woman show, has no immediate plans, but hopefully Univision will see the error in its ways in cutting local programming.
The city’s newest barbeque and bar, the Pig-and-Whistle in the new shopping across from Baum Stadium, is training employees and will open soon. It will feature Memphis-style, dry rub, barbeque.
Someone asked Daddy W. if he’s heard about more NWA banks that are gonna be subjected to the wrath of federal regulators. The long answer is maybe. The short answer is probably. Let’s all watch and see who gets written up and sanctioned next.

Local municipalities are cutting back on fireworks displays this year (they cost a lot of dough) and fireworks stands are not expecting a big boom this 4th. Either. Pre 4th of July fireworks stands sales are down. The lagging economy one stand operator said.

Categories: Features