FAQ: Walmart Home Office

Frequently Asked Questions on the New Walmart Home Office in Bentonville

Frequently Asked Questions on the New Walmart Home Office in Bentonville

Where will the new Home Office be located?

The new Walmart Home Office will be in Bentonville on roughly 350 acres of land on the east side of J Street, between Central Avenue and 14th Street (Highway 102). For years, the company has operated warehouse spaces and office buildings on this site. By demolishing and recycling those existing buildings and offices, we will have the opportunity to revitalize the existing tract of land, contribute to the economic growth in the area and integrate with the broader Bentonville community development efforts.

When will groundbreaking start and how long will construction take?

Today marks the beginning of an exciting journey. With this step (unveiling of the master plan, beginning demolition), we are leading the journey to empower associates and get the most out of our existing teams, while helping us attract high-quality talent in the future. And we will do all of this by adhering to our Every Day Low Cost (EDLC) culture – not by cutting corners but through smart design. Demolition, infrastructure and utility construction will begin this summer. In the next 18 to 24 months, the support and office buildings will be designed and construction will begin. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be focused on:

  • Relocating associates out of the office buildings located on the site and into temporary new office spaces.
  • Demoing and recycling buildings we own that are currently on the site.
  • Beginning construction on the new Layout Center in late 2019, which will be located on the east side of Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, to pave the way for the new Walton Life Fitness Center. (Note: the existing 5th Street Layout Center is in the quadrant where the new Walton Life Fitness Center will be, so this will be demoed in preparation for that construction.)
  • So, we’ll start with a new Layout Center and then move on to the other buildings. Our goal is to open in phases between 2020 and 2024. As with any major construction project, timing may change. We’ll provide updates as we have them.

What will be the design of the new campus?

Our campus will be integrated into the community, designed to be an inclusive and seamless part of the natural beauty of our Northwest Arkansas region. We’ve worked hard to develop a well-designed, exciting and cohesive campus master plan for our associates, their families and the community will be proud of, specifically by:

  • Integrating the biking and walking trails from the greater Bentonville community into and through the campus, while preserving and embracing the “Natural State” beauty that is unique to our region.
  • Reflecting our commitment to, and leadership of, environmental sustainability by being good stewards of our natural resources and minimizing our impact to the environment.
  • Encouraging associates to enjoy and connect with nature – both indoors and outdoors – through natural lighting, warm interior finishes, mass timber construction from regionally-sourced materials, and views to trees, courtyards, landscapes and lakes.

Parking around the campus – what do you envision?

Associates can expect ample parking conveniently co-located near the office buildings. Our campus will be organized into neighborhoods, complete with surface parking for each area, and additional outdoor parking lots for overflow and visitor parking. Within the surface parking lots, trees will provide shade for the vehicles and associates, and will also contribute to wayfinding and to creating comfortable and beautiful pedestrian pathways.

Will there be a child care facility?

Sam’s Club recently announced a child care facility near their Home Office. And yes, we plan to have a child care facility at the new Walmart Home Office. The exact location on the campus and the specific details are still being worked out, but this is important to our associates, so it’s important to us.

What types of food and amenities will be available on campus?

A centrally located food hall in the heart of campus will be convenient for associates coming from any neighborhood on campus. The food hall will offer a flexible space for associates to connect with fellow colleagues, while enjoying a wide variety of creative, fresh, healthy food options – including custom salads, nutritious offerings, comfort foods and regional culinary fare from across the globe.

In addition, each neighborhood will have convenient food and beverage offerings, including:

  • Smaller dining venues featuring a variety of fresh foods along with unique dining experiences in each neighborhood.
  • Coffee bars and grab-and-go stations offering artisanal coffee drinks, organic and healthy snacks, pastries, sweets, ready-made salads and sandwiches.
  • In-office food pantries on each floor with coffee machines, filtered water stations, refrigerators for associate food storage, vending machines and seating with tables.
  • A juice and smoothie bar in the Walton Life Fitness Center to offer fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, ready-made packaged salads and sandwiches, fresh fruits and sweet, savory and healthy snacks.

Each neighborhood will feature bike storage, showers, and changing rooms for cycling commuters and associates wanting to exercise during their lunch breaks.

Will the new Walton Life Fitness Center be the first building built?

Once the new Layout Center has been relocated and is operational, we will begin to demo and grade the area where the new Walton Life Fitness Center will be located on the NW quadrant. (Note: the existing 5th Street Layout Center is in the quadrant where the new Walton Life Fitness Center will be, so this will be demoed in preparation for that construction.)

How will cycling integrate into the campus?

The new campus will be designed to support all types of cyclists, including:

  • Recreational riders, who typically use off-street bike trails
  • Commuters, who take more efficient routes on a combination of trails and streets
  • Associates who will ride bikes to move throughout campus

Today, a small group of associates commute to work on bicycles, and we are hoping to increase that number by making cycling an easy choice for associates to commute to work. We are designing the new campus to facilitate transportation choices that are healthier for our associates, reduce traffic, and parking strains and support the well-being of the greater community. Each neighborhood will have bike storage, showers and changing rooms. We will also have campus bikes available for associates to ride between buildings or to and from their vehicles.

How will the new Home Office reflect Walmart’s sustainability commitments?

We were among the first global companies to add environmental sustainability and social responsibility as core elements of our business strategy in 2005. These shared values have become increasingly important as we position ourselves to win the future of retail and hire and retain top talent. We’ve transformed our stores and trucking fleet, invested in the communities where we operate and encouraged our suppliers to improve their products and operations. While we’ve received recognition for such ambitions and accomplishments, our current Home Office simply does not evoke a connection to these values. With our new campus, we have a unique opportunity to create a space and culture that embodies our vision for a sustainable world, while providing a winning and inspirational work environment.

Our goals for the campus are in line with our three corporate aspirational goals: to create zero waste, operate with 100% renewable energy and focus on products that sustain our resources and the environment. We aim to do that in a variety of ways, including:

  • 15+ acres of lakes, which will serve many purposes, including stormwater collection for smart irrigation, thermal exchange, wildlife habitat and rainwater reuse
  • Native and drought-tolerant plants to minimize the need for excessive watering
  • Rooftops on parking decks and select buildings, which will be built to accommodate future solar panel installation
  • Daylight and views from all office floors and active design throughout buildings, incorporating prominent interconnected stairs and trails
  • Regionally sourced materials, including mass timber construction
  • A central utility plant, which will provide a cooling tower, heat recovery chillers and grid interconnections for electric vehicle (EV) energy storage, along with energy-efficient HVAC and LED lighting systems across the campus

We will demonstrate locally what we are committed to globally.

You’ve mentioned the campus and associates will connect with nature – what do you mean?

The new campus will complement the growth and evolution of Bentonville’s broader urban development plan. We describe the landscape plan as “Big Nature,” which reflects the Northwest Arkansas native ecologies and Walmart company values. Extensive tree canopies and understory planting will provide habitat, manage stormwater, and reconnect associates and visitors to nature. Planting selections will primarily be low maintenance, low irrigation, and native. WiFi-enabled outdoor spaces will support our flexible workplace, with each neighborhood containing a large quad, in addition to smaller open spaces and courtyards associated with individual buildings. A cohesive network of complete streets, shaded walkways, and dedicated bikeways keep all areas of the campus well connected.

The Big Nature plan encourages interaction between Walmart associates, the Bentonville community and the physical environment to reinforce sustainable living and holistic well-being. In support of this vision, the landscape design will reflect the complex mosaic of native habitats found throughout the region and the distinct culture that has been an integral part of Walmart’s history. The result will be a unique work environment that attracts future associates with a direct connection to nature and the outdoors that can only be found in Northwest Arkansas.

Why are we moving and why now?

This is part of Walmart’s strategy to win and has been contemplated for a number of years. The new facilities will help accelerate change, accommodate a more digitally native workforce, and encourage more collaboration and speed. The combined changes will help us get the most out of our existing teams, and also help us attract the next generation of talent we need to compete.

What is the cost?

The new Home Office will be true to the company’s Every Day Low Cost (EDLC) roots. A strong emphasis of the project will be on supporting a culture of servant leadership, which puts our customers and associates first, and maintaining our commitment to fiscal and environmental responsibility. This project will be done in phases and the cost will be part of our annual budgeting process.

What happens to the existing buildings across the region?

No decisions have been made regarding our current Home Office. We have a process for managing the company’s real estate portfolio, and will work through that process, as part of the planning, design and coordination needed to move the project forward. We will work with Northwest Arkansas leaders to ensure there is a focused dialogue on the future of the properties as we move the region forward.

Will all Home Office associates be moved to work in the new location?

We plan to bring most of the Home Office associates in Northwest Arkansas onto this central campus. Final decisions haven’t been made. Associates working at the Sam’s Club support office and the new Springdale Call Center will not reside on the new campus. They will continue to work in their current building.

What will happen to the other campuses across the country (Jet.com, Moosejaw, San Bruno, etc.)?

The build of this campus does not have a direct impact on these other campuses. We want our new Home Office to not only inspire those who work in Bentonville, but our other associates around that world who so frequently visit this place where it all started.

Are these renderings final?

A project of this size will evolve and take shape as we get deeper into construction. The designs we are sharing today will serve as a guidepost for the way forward, not necessarily final plans.

Are you planning to build a hotel on the new Home Office campus?

Yes. Part of our master design plan for the campus includes an on-campus facility. We want to provide an opportunity for our visiting associates, prospective recruits, interns and other guests to experience the new Home Office campus. It is in the preliminary stages of program design and no further details are available at this time.

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