Walmart plans new home office

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Walmart plans new home office

By Marianne Wilson - 09/15/2017

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Even headquarters have a shelf life.

Walmart is planning to build a new, central headquarters — one better suited to a "digitally native" workforce — in its hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. The discount giant revealed the news in a note by CEO Doug McMillion on the company's website.

Walmart traces its current home office back to 1971. Since then, its office footprint has grown without a holistic long-term plan, resulting in a patchwork of more than 20 buildings in Northwest Arkansas.

"For some time now, we’ve been concerned that this ad hoc office network actually inhibits our ability to compete in the rapidly changing retail landscape," McMillon wrote. "We need to be curious, collaborative, agile and accountable if we are to win in the future. We need a workplace that fosters those skills and traits."

Walmart will build its new home campus on a large tract of land located along J Street in Bentonville. McDillon said the new space would offer improved parking, meal services, fitness, and natural light. Also, it will be integrated into the community trail system, for easy walking and cycling access.

"We intend to bring most of our home office associates in Northwest Arkansas onto a central campus with accommodations for a more digitally native workforce and space that encourages greater collaboration and speed," McDillon said.

Walmart expects the new campus will take five to seven years to complete.

"There’s still a tremendous amount of planning, design and coordination to be done and the property must be readied before we even begin construction," McDillon said. "But today’s announcement formally kicks off the process of working with city and state officials, as well as other stakeholders, to move the project forward."