First, let's start with Dillards. This is a department store that went through some tough times at the height of the recession. Now it appears things may be looking up for Dillard's future.
"Dillard's has been rebounding as of late. After more than 2 years of struggling sales, closing stores, and laying off workers, the Little Rock-based mall retailer has reported a couple of good months of rising sales. Today, we learned that June was pretty good for Dillard's. It reported a 2% increase in sales and same-store sales. Several other major retailers - like Target, - also reported good sales. That's a healthy sign of consumer spending, which accounts for about 2/3rds of all economic activity. We'll see if this is a long-term trend," says Roby.
Another business in Arkansas, Kimberly-Clark, is also looking good. Of course, Kimberly-Clark produces Kleenex, Huggies and many other products. Now its expanding its Conway plant.
"Kimberly Clark has had a factory in Conway for 40 years, so it is a big manufacturing presence in that community. Yesterday, they revealed that they will expand and upgrade their plant by $25 million and add at least 40 new jobs. That's good long-term news for Conway and central Arkansas because when you see a company invest in upgrades for a plant, it's a definite sign that they're making a longer term investment. In other words, if Kimberly Clark downsizes, the Conway plant is an unlikely candidate because they're putting money into it," says Roby.
Let's shift quickly to politics, the November elections are only five months away. And in the second district Tim Griffin looks like he is getting some big help in his bid to take on Vic Snyder's congressional seat.
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