Monday, October 10, 2016

Fort Smith spirits maker adds rum line to serve Walmart

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 12:10 PM

click to enlarge malibu_originalnew175_18693.1379450373.1280.1280.jpg
Pernod Ricard, which makes spirits at a plant in Fort Smith, said today it would expand the plant to bottle Malibu Rum sold to Walmart stores.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson was on hand to cheer the announcement as an economy booster. It means 6,000 additional man hours a year in Fort Smith. By my calculation, that's 150 40-hour weeks, or about three full-time employees.

Spoiler alert: Very little of that rum will be sold in Arkansas. Walmart stores are not allowed to sell spirits under Arkansas's crazy quilt alcoholic beverage laws. Walmart did find a way to open one free-standing liquor store next to a Sam's Club in Fayetteville.

Wal-Mart officials said the announcement was part of its "Made in the USA" program.

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