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Reports: Wal-Mart Nabs Another Shopping App, Luvocracy

Luvocracy's website today. The firm is being purchased by @WalmartLabs.

@WalmartLabs, part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s social media division, has acquired another shopping app, Luvocracy.

Re/Code reports that the 16 of the 20-person staff will join @WalmartLabs, which is shutting down the service:

Luvocracy was one of a host of startups attempting to make online shopping a more social experience. Prospective shoppers visited the app to browse through images of products uploaded by other individuals. Luvocracy’s team scoured the web to find the best available price for each product, which shoppers could then order directly through the Luvocracy app.

Wal-Mart hasn't disclosed terms of the deal. Founded in 2011, Luvocracy has since been surpassed by Pinterest, another social shopping platform. Still, Luvocracy managed to raise about $11 million in investment from entities including Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, according to TechCrunch.

In February, Wal-Mart said it had acquired Yumprint of Seattle, planning to use the company's recipe technology for its grocery delivery efforts on Walmart.com and Walmart To Go.

FCC Approves Sinclair's $1B Deal to Buy Allbritton TV Stations, Including KATV

Reuters and others are reporting that Sinclair Broadcast Group's $985 million deal to buy TV stations owned by Allbritton Communication has been approved by the FCC:

The FCC's Media Bureau said Sinclair will divest the TV station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and will give up licenses of Allbritton stations in Birmingham, Alabama and Charleston, South Carolina, delivering programming there through so-called multi-casting on the signal of the stations Sinclair already owns.

The two companies announced the deal nearly one year ago, on July 29, 2013. It includes Little Rock ABC affiliate KATV-TV, Channel 7, Allbritton's flagship station WJLA-TV in Washington D.C., and NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour news channel that's also in the nation's capital.

Allbritton announced in May 2013 its intention to sell those stations, saying it wanted to focus on its digital properties, including Politico.

To that end, Robert Allbritton spoke to Politico today about the sale of the stations:

"Hey it’s great to do a deal, but it’s kind of tough to walk away. I’ve been doing this 20 years personally, and you don’t walk away from that without some thoughts," Robert Allbritton said in an interview. "It’s going to be a good business for a while to come, but man, I’m 45 and I don’t know if it’s going to be a good business for the rest of my life."

Allbritton said Internet-based communications are the way things are headed.

"What you guys at Politico are doing is the future," he said. "It’s just the way media is changing now, and man, is it changing fast."

The Allbritton stations fill out Sinclair's growing portfolio. The deal will put the Hunt Valley, Maryland, media firm in control of 162 stations in 78 markets, meaning that Sinclair now reaches about 40 percent of U.S. TV households.

Southern Gourmasian to Open Restaurant in Downtown Little Rock

Southern Gourmasian will be among the vendors at Food Truck Friday in downtown Little Rock. 

Our sister publication, Little Rock Soirée, has the latest about Southern Gourmasian's plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Little Rock.

The popular Little Rock food truck will be opening up a restaurant at 219 W. Capitol Ave. in the Sterling Annex. 

According to Soirée's report, the restaurant will be about 3,000-SF and seat about 85 guests. Justin Patterson, owner of Southern Gourmasian, says the restaurant plans to serve alcohol, including local beers on tap.

No official open date has been set, but it's planned to open some time later this year. For more, check out the full report at Soirée.

The food truck reported $108,542 in sales during 2013, and $17,515 through the first two months of this year.

Jerry Barakat Opening Japanese Restaurant in Hillcrest

Our sister publication, Little Rock Soirée, has the latest on Little Rock restaurateur Jerry Barakat and his plans for a new restaurant in Hillcrest.

"Barakat says he hopes to open Kemuri, at 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., by late July. The restaurant, located in the former home of Ferneau and Rocket 21, will feature seafood, sushi and smoked meats, according to Barakat."

The restaurant is said to be about 4,800-SF and have space for about 150 guests inside and another 30 outside. Currently, Barkat is awaiting an alcohol permit and putting the finishing touches on the menu.

For more on Kemuri, check out the full story over at Soirée.

Waltons Check in at No. 1 on Forbes 'Richest American Families' List

What do the Koch family, Mars family, S.C. Johnson family and Rockefeller family all have in common? Well, besides all being multi-billion dollar empires, they all have less money than the Waltons of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville (NYSE:WMT).

Forbes recently ranked America's richest families, who combined for an aggregate wealth of $1.2 trillion, and the Walton family — made up of Christy Walton, Jim Walton, Alice Walton, S. Robson Walton, Ann Walton Kroenke and Nancy Walton Laurie — was the wealthiest with a combined net worth of $152 billion.

Here's what Forbes had to say about the wealthiest family in America.

"Unrest has beset the Walton's Wal-Mart empire. Workers at one of the world's biggest employers went on strike to protest low wages and have led a movement to unseat Rob Walton as chairman, but family's tight grip on the retailer — together they own 51 percent of the shares — gives them effective veto power. With $476 billion in revenue, Wal-Mart still reigns as the world's largest retailer, a far cry from the company started by Sam Walton and his brother James in a small Arkansas town in 1962."

The Waltons were followed by the Koch family, with a net worth of $89 billion, and the Mars family, with a net worth of $60 billion. The Walton family's reign as America's wealthiest is large enough that the net worths of its two closest competitors could be combined, $149 billion, and still fall short by $3 billion.

For more on the wealthiest families in America, check out the list from Forbes.