- Walmart is breaking ground in July on a 300-acre corporate campus in northwest Arkansas.
- Walmart is in dire need of a new home. The company’s more than 14,000 corporate employees based in Bentonville, Arkansas, are now spread across 21 buildings.
- At the new campus, Walmart employees will get more windows, better parking, access to childcare services, and more food options.
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Walmart is breaking ground in July on a new corporate headquarters spanning more than 300 acres in northwest Arkansas.
The retailer on Friday said the new campus, which is within miles of its current headquarters, is designed to inspire collaboration through open work spaces and attract top talent through modern, digitally enabled facilities that provide on-site services such as childcare and dry cleaning.
“It’s a very competitive talent war,” Dan Bartlett, the executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, said on a call with reporters. “And as we are striving to attract and retain the best talent in order for us to win the future of retail, a key component of that is the work environment in which we’re creating.”
Walmart is in dire need of a new home. The company’s more than 14,000 corporate employees based in Bentonville, Arkansas, are now spread across 21 buildings.
Some of those buildings are former warehouses that have been repurposed into corporate offices as the company has expanded, and Walmart has “stretched them as far as [they] can,” Bartlett said.
“Having your leadership team in over 21 buildings, you literally build up physical silos,” he said.
The new headquarters will bring nearly all of Walmart’s Arkansas-based corporate employees onto one campus.
“Our technology teams, our merchants, our logistics, our supply chain – all of the different pieces of the puzzle – physically getting us onto one campus … is something that we felt was really important,” Bartlett said.
While designing its new home, Walmart executives visited and drew inspiration from other corporate and college campuses including those belonging to McDonald’s, Apple, and Stanford University.
The company also visited the University of Texas, the University of Arkansas, and the Deloitte training centres in Texas.
Walmart visited universities to study how colleges integrate into their surrounding communities.
“We view this … more like a college university campus, versus a walled-off-from-the-community corporate headquarters,” Bartlett said. “We want it to feel – and it will be – very accessible to the community.”
To that end, Walmart is planning a “massive park” that will be open to the public, he said.
At the new campus, Walmart employees will get more windows, better parking, and food trucks.
One of the most common requests from Walmart employees for the new office was more windows, Bartlett said.
“There will be plenty of light and taller ceilings and plenty of parking,” he said. “Those are the things … the basics that we know we have to nail.”
He also said the company is focusing on providing better food options for employees and more “curated experiences,” such as food tucks.
Employees will also get outdoor meeting spaces, and Walmart will encourage them to bike to work.
Bartlett said Walmart wants to take advantage of its location, since it’s not based in a major city like many other large companies.
With that in mind, Walmart plans to provide employees with meeting spaces outside and encourage people to bike to work with a trail system.
Construction will begin this summer and last through 2024 “and beyond,” Bartlett said.
Construction will happen in phases, and employees will move onto the new campus gradually as buildings are completed.
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