Walmart shows-off plans for its sprawling new home office in Bentonville
- The biggest retailer in the world, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, is one step closer to moving into a new home office for more than 14,000 people, which will be outfitted with fitness centers for employees and their families, a child-care facility, more diverse dining options like food trucks, trails for hiking and biking, and tons of windows — yes, more windows. Walmart’s current home office is notorious for lacking natural light.
Walmart’s existing headquarters, built in 1971, is made up of more than 20 buildings scattered around the corner of Southwest Eighth Street and Walton Boulevard in Bentonville. The new space will be built along J Street, the company said when it first revealed its plans to move, in September 2017.
Walmart on Friday released a blog post with more details about the new office and photos offering a first look at the facilities, which will span more than 300 acres. Demolition of the existing buildings on that land is expected to start this summer, and construction of the new campus will begin over the next two years, with workers moving in phases, the company said.
Walmart said the goal of getting into more modern facilities with an open floor plan — and better food, parking and fitness options — is to “attract the next generation of talent.” That’s as Amazon — arguably Walmart’s biggest rival in retail today — is embarking on opening a new headquarters in Virginia and another office space in Tennessee. (Amazon, which has its main headquarters in Seattle, was planning an office in New York City, but that fell through thanks to plenty of local opposition.)
For Walmart, though, the company didn’t think about leaving its roots behind in Bentonville, Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of Walmart’s corporate affairs team, said Thursday on a call with members of the media.
“This was not a hard decision for us to keep our home office in northwest Arkansas. … We are a part of this community,” he said. Walmart has been able to establish a presence in other cities across the U.S. through its acquisitions, like when it bought Jet.com, giving Walmart an office in Hoboken, New Jersey.