Walmart teams up with SmartKargo

Walmart Inc.’s delivery business has contracted with a company called SmartKargo that will coordinate the pickup of goods sent by air for next-day and two-day deliveries.

The Bentonville-based retailer’s Walmart GoLocal business handles the last-mile delivery of packages from an e-commerce company or retailer.

SmartKargo, a software company, acts as a sort of go-between for the airline the goods are shipped on and Walmart GoLocal.

When a plane arrives with the items to be delivered, SmartKargo alerts GoLocal and designates a particular area where the delivery driver can pick them up. The driver then makes that final leg of delivery to the customer.

SmartKargo said that using air transportation for the middle mile lets retailers increase margins and meet customer expectations for rapid delivery.

The companies’ partnership creates “an opportunity to accelerate how retailers and e-commerce companies get inventory from their fulfillment centers to customers’ doorsteps,” said Eliza Wendel, senior director and head of sales and business development at Walmart GoLocal.

— Serenah McKay

Signature logo out at Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson said Thursday that it will replace the well-known signature script it has used since 1887 with a modern look that reflects its sharpened focus on pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The original script — based on co-founder James Wood Johnson’s signature — will still be seen for now on consumer products like baby shampoo from Kenvue, a new company recently spun off from J&J.

Johnson & Johnson itself narrowed its focus to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The new look, which includes a different shade of red, aims to recognize J&J’s shift into a “pure play health care company,” said Vanessa Broadhurst, a company executive vice president.

The signature logo was “one of the longest-used company emblems in the world,” J&J declared in a 2017 website post.

But it started showing its age in an era of texting and emojis.

Many children no longer learn to write cursive in school, noted marketing consultant Laura Ries. People may recognize the signature, but they weren’t necessarily reading it, she said. The new logo, she said, is easier to process.

“Because it’s easier, it almost even draws your attention to it,” said Ries, who wasn’t involved in the logo change.

A Kenvue spokesperson said the J&J branding on products like Band Aids will gradually be removed.

— The Associated Press

State index reaches 859.56, a 11.65 rise

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Thursday at 859.56, up 11.65.

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