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Walmart commends Arkansas governor for reconsidering controversial religious bill

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart on Wednesday sent out a tweet in which it commended Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson and legislative leaders for reconsidering a law that some people and organizations fear would open the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians. The “religious freedom” measure (HB1228) in Arkansas is similar to the one that has kicked up a firestorm in Indiana. Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Gov, Hutchinson said he wouldn’t sign the bill in its present form and called for changes to be made.

“We clearly support the importance of religious freedom and encourage the legislature to make certain any legislation does not encourage discrimination,” Walmart said.

The move was the latest missive in the controversy that has pitted the retailing giant against state leaders. On Tuesday, Arkansas native and Walmart president CEO Doug McMillon took an unusually firm stance against the bill, which Gov. Hutchinson had indicated he would sign.

“Today’s passage of HB1228 threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold. For these reasons, we are asking Governor Hutchinson to veto this legislation,” McMillon wrote in a statement released on the retailer’s Twitter account.” 

McMillon, who hails from Jonesboro, Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas and received a MBA from the University of Tulsa.

“Every day, in our stores, we see firsthand the benefits diversity and inclusion have on our associates, customers and communities we serve," McMillon wrote in the tweet. "It all starts with our core basic belief of respect for the individual.

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Wagner promotes its flex appeal

BY HBSDealer Staff

Wagner SprayTech, maker of advanced paint applicators, announced today the newest addition to the Flexio family of indoor/outdoor paint sprayers: the Flexio 990 for big jobs.

It features a direct feed system for non-stop painting that pulls paint or stain directly from a one- or five-gallon container to the sprayer, making it possible to finish painting projects much faster.

“The FLEXiO 990 makes spraying large projects faster and it’s simple to use, so serious DIYers can have the confidence to take on any project and get professional results,” said Jon Beaton, senior product manager for Wagner. “With the control and adjustability of the FLEXiO 990, users can count on less overspray than airless sprayers, without sacrificing speed and a great finish.”

The sprayer, which is described as “quiet as a hairdryer,” is 20% lighter than traditional airless sprayers, meaning there’s less fatigue when painting large areas. Features like one-touch set-up and hands-free cleaning make the Flexio 990 DIY friendly. In addition, it delivers contractor performance by spraying up to nine gallons per hour and has a flexible hose for two-story reach.

For smaller projects like painting one wall or finishing trim, the Flexio 990 can be quickly converted from a direct feed system to a handheld sprayer with the Control Finish nozzle and a cup accessory, which come standard with each unit.

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: SHLD down on REIT announcement

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings (SHLD) was down 0.12% at the end of the day, despite rising earlier this morning on news of its planned joint venture and REIT.

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