NEWS IN BRIEF: Walmart hours set to sensory-friendly

This undated file photo shows Walmart's sign in front of its Bentonville headquarters.
This undated file photo shows Walmart's sign in front of its Bentonville headquarters.


Walmart hours set

to sensory-friendly

Walmart Inc. has brought back the sensory-friendly hours that proved popular during the back-to-school season.

This time around, all Walmart's stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico now take steps to create a less stimulating environment from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily. The policy started Friday "with no planned end date," the company said.

To make stores more comfortable for shoppers with sensory disabilities, Walmart will dim the lights, turn off the radio and change TV walls to a static image.

Feedback for these changes last summer were "overwhelmingly positive," the company said.

"From face-to-face conversations, emails, listening sessions, social media and our personal experiences in the stores, we have seen what these changes mean for our customers and associates," Walmart executives said in a corporate blog post.

Many venues such as movie theaters and museums, and even Disney resorts have sensory-friendly accommodations. Chuck E. Cheese restaurants have what they call Sensory Sensitive Sundays.

In Europe, supermarket chains including Aldi and Tesco have already adopted sensory-friendly hours.

-- Serenah McKay

Tyson will announce

4th-quarter results

When Tyson Foods Inc. reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, analysts expects to see a drop in its sales and profit.

A news release and supplemental materials will be available before the markets open.

The Springdale-based meat processor closed three plants in the quarter, including one in North Little Rock. Tyson said the closings were a cost-cutting measure.

Zack's analysts said "sluggishness" in Tyson's pork and beef segments this year is likely to persist. They attribute a drop in volume in both sectors to lower domestic demand and weaker export markets.

Analysts predict that Tyson will report earnings of 29 cents per share.

Company executives will host a conference call and webcast starting at 8 a.m. Monday to discuss the quarter's results. Participants may dial into the call at (844) 890-1795 and ask to join the Tyson Foods call.

A link to the webcast will be posted on Tyson's investor relations website at http//ir.tyson.com.

Tyson shares closed Friday at $46.94, up 54 cents, or 1.16%, on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have closed between $44.94 and $68.76 in the past year.

-- Serenah McKay

State index closes

at 831.60, up 3.75

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 831.60, up 3.75 points, or a gain of 0.45% from the previous close.

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