Advertise with

New corporate headquarters are springing up across the US.
New corporate headquarters are springing up across the US.

Walmart reveals plans for a new corporate campus


By Nandita Bose - May 20th, 17:04

Corporate America has been under political pressure to ramp up investments at home. 

New corporate headquarters are springing up across the US.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, and the US’s biggest private-sector employer revealed plans for a new corporate campus, joining rivals and Apple in expanding their corporate campuses as President Donald Trump puts pressure on US companies to make larger investments at home.

The Bentonville based-company is building a new headquarters in its hometown — a project it announced in September 2017 — that will spread over 120ha and house its nearly 17,000 employees with room to accommodate more as it creates new jobs. Bike trails that run through the heart of the campus, a massive park, fitness centers, food trucks, and child-care centers will be some of the amenities that will fuse with a modern aesthetic design, says Dan Bartlett, executive vice-president of corporate affairs, who is overseeing the project.

There will also be the more basic elements that go into designing a modern workplace, such as flexible open-floor plans that boost collaboration and offer privacy, tall ceilings, lots of windows and light and ample parking space, he said.

“We are striving to attract and retain the best talent in order to win the future of retail and the key component of that is the work environment that we are creating,” Bartlett said. Walmart has kept its plans for a new headquarters relatively low key, unlike some of its rivals.

For example, Amazon captivated elected officials across North America in September 2017 when it announced it would create more than 50,000 jobs in a second headquarters dubbed HQ2. Cities and states vied desperately for the economic stimulus, with some states offering billions in potential tax credits.

After an aggressive hunt, Amazon announced two winners: Long Island City in New York and Arlington, Virginia. But it had to reverse its plans abruptly in the Big Apple after a backlash over various issues, including tax breaks.

iPhone maker Apple also announced it is spending $1bn to build a second campus in Austin, Texas, that will house up to 15,000 workers.

Corporate America has been under political pressure to ramp up investments at home as part of Trump’s “America First” policies, which have led to a bitter trade war with China. It is also increasingly in the interest of US companies to tout investments and job creation, especially because those that have moved jobs overseas or shuttered factories have drawn sharp rebukes from Trump, who has championed job creation.

Walmart’s Bartlett did not give details on the amount it is investing in the project, nor the number of new jobs it will create at its new campus. He said the project and the capital investment will be phased over multiple years and will not hurt its financials in any single quarter or year.

Walmart also did not receive any “special packages or tax breaks that were out of the ordinary” for its project, he said. It received a state investment credit that any company in Arkansas can apply for and receive, Bartlett added.

“Our goal was not to extract things from the community,” he said.

Bartlett said Walmart embarked on this project because the company’s current headquarters are at full capacity and its home office workforce is stretched over 20 buildings across Bentonville and Rogers, Arkansas.

The new buildings will have solar panels atop parking decks, energy-efficient lighting, regionally sourced building materials, including mass timber construction — in addition to a connected campus design.

The retailer took design inspiration from the headquarters of companies like McDonald’s, Deloitte, large consumer product makers, and others on the west coast. Officials also visited college campuses such as Stanford, the University of Texas and the University of Arkansas. Demolition will begin this year and the construction work on the new campus is expected to run until 2024.Business Live 

Read more about: walmart | us | retailer | retail | investments | business

Related News

Truworths profit at nine-year low as profit plunges over 70%
16/08/2019 - 11:52
Shares in Truworths slumped to a nine-year low on Friday morning after the fashion retailer reported a 74% slide in profits amid difficult trading environments in SA and the UK.

UnionPay cards - the largest card scheme in the world - now accepted at all Pick n Pay stores across SA
16/08/2019 - 11:11
UnionPay International (UPI) has announced significant progress in the South African retail payments market through their co-operation with Pick n Pay and Absa Bank. Through a tripartite co-operation agreement, Pick n Pay, a major food, clothing, and general merchandise retailer, is now enabled to accept UnionPay cards at all of its till points across its approximately 1,800 stores countrywide.

Pernod Ricard SA to centralise operations with Johannesburg move
16/08/2019 - 10:27
In a move set to enhance cohesion, collaboration and efficiencies, Pernod Ricard South Africa (PRSA), a co-leader of wine and spirits worldwide will officially relocate its Cape Town offices to Woodmead, Johannesburg by 31st December this year.

Why equipment finance makes sense for your SME
15/08/2019 - 15:26
Every business, be it in retail, agriculture, and even tech, simply cannot operate without the necessary equipment to run their operations. Equipment can be costly, and that is why equipment finance for small businesses appeals to most small-medium business owners.

With banana leaf lamps, H&M backs firms promising social change
15/08/2019 - 10:31
With lampshades made by Indian women and trays from East Africa, H&M said that it had become the latest retail giant to back businesses with a mission to do good, as pressure mounts to end throwaway consumerism.