BusinessDallas Everybody’s BUSINESS

SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH INERTIA? NOTHING.
If you ask the typical insider on Wall Street what they’d like to see in this month’s elections, the answer is simple: “a Republican sweep.” The union of conservatism and big money goes back for decades, but the fact is that the stock and bond markets like stalemate when il comes to politics.
Republican control of Congress and Democratic control of the Oval Office has worked well for the economy for most of the last eight years, and many investors would like to see the same thing for the next four. The idea is that neither party will be able to push through dozens of pork barrel projects, big spending plans, or other partisan policies. With luck-a combination of party line votes, contentious conference committees, and presidential vetoes-nothing much gets done, and we’re all better for it.
Now, if we can just gel a comparable stalemate in the Texas Legislature, we’ll all be able to sleep well at night.

ALLIANCE IS TURNING INTO A SHARPER IMAGE STORE
Yet another coup for Ross Jr.’s Alliance Airport development. One of the world’s largest automotive supply companies. Valeo of Paris (France, not Texas), has moved into its new 65.000-square-foot facility at Alliance and is already talking about expansion. The auto parts business can be pretty dry stuff, but with $10 billion in annual sales and 77,000 employees worldwide. Valeo has a few gee-whiz products up its sleeve and is going to make them at Alliance. Such as windshield wipers that turn themselves on automatically when it starts raining and turn themselves off when it isn’t. Valeo will also manufacture a warning system that tells you when your car is about to run into the Buick up ahead. Both products are among the 21st-century offerings made possible by Valeo circuit boards, My favorite offering from the French giant is a gizmo that you carry in your purse or pocket that will automatically unlock your car, open your trunk, and roll down your windows when your arms are full after a tour of the local Sam’s or Tom Thumb.

INVADING ARMIES FOILED BY FOOD CHAIN
Get ready for a new shopping experience. Stanley Marcus is singing its praises, Dallasites are setting up daylong excursions to the closest location in Austin, and its visitors have been known to disappear for hours on end. HEB’s Central Market is on its way to Piano, Greenville Avenue, and Fort Worth next year and will bring with it 75 kinds of cheese, 2.200 labels of wine, 60 varieties of bread, and a store layout that will leave you dropping pieces of bread like Hansel and Gretel so you can find your way out.
Central Market is not the place to go if you only need a box of Duz. a couple of bags of Fritos, and a liter of Squirt; it’s the kind of place you stroll through for days, That’s why it isn’t laid out in a grid like your typical Piggly Wiggly. Atyp-ical Central Market uses a serpentine layout that takes you on a journey through more than 60,000 square feet of pickles, peppers, and sushi. Even if you want to leave, you can’t find your way out unless you follow the cart in front of you. The good news is that it foils invading armies from Kroger and Tom Thumb. Want to know the best thing about Central Market so far? They have to tear down La Bare at Greenville and Lovers to build it. Does that mean the food store can start booking its own version of bachelorette parties’?

CONSUMERS NOTE: BURP TO ENSURE FRESHNESS
High-profile and high-fashion Dallasites Jinger and Dick Heathhave entered into an agreement to sell their “Mary Kay-like” BeautiControl Cosmetics to Tupperwa fre for $60 million in cash. The firm has been beset by the woes associated with good economic times. BeautiControl is contra-cyclical. In English that means that when times are good, less people need to take on second jobs or add another wage earner to supplement the family income. Fewer salespeople at BeautiControl means less profit.
Mrs. Heath told me that she and her husband will continue to run the company and that we can expect no obvious changes in the way they do business.
You may, however, have to “burp” your compact before you close it. Just like Tupperware.
STATS
66,000
Number of hotel rooms in New York City (2000 forecast)
50,000
Number of hotel rooms in Dallas {2000 forecast)
81.6
Percent occupancy in NYC hotels (1999)
62.8
Percent occupancy in Dallas hotels (1999)
$226
Average daily room rate in NYC (1999)
$107
Average daily room rate in Dallas (1999)
36.7 million
Visitors to NYC (1999)
12.9 million
Visitors to Dallas (1999)
$15.6 billion
Visitor spending in NYC (1999)
$19.2 billion
Visitor spending in Dallas (1999) SOURCE PKF Consulting
Stockbroker David Johnson has covered lite Dallas business scene for more than 20 years for WFAA-7V Channel S, KRLD radio l089-AM,ai\dfor Public Radio International’s Marketplace.

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