FAQ: Walmart Home Office
Frequently Asked Questions on the New Walmart Home Office in Bentonville
- Where will the new Home Office be located?
- How long will construction take?
- What will be the design of the new campus?
- How is the coronavirus impacting the design of the new Home Office? Are you changing the layout?
- What will parking look like around the campus?
- Will there be a childcare facility?
- What types of food and amenities will be available on campus?
- How will cycling integrate into the campus?
- You’ve mentioned the campus and associates will connect with nature – what do you mean?
- Why are we moving and why now?
- What is the cost?
- What happens to the existing buildings across the region?
- Will all Home Office associates be moved to work in the new location?
- What will happen to the other campuses across the country (Moosejaw, San Bruno, etc.)?
- Are these renderings final?
- Are you planning to build a hotel on the new Home Office campus?
- Why did Walmart decide to use mass timber for the new campus?
- Is this project on schedule? If not, why?
- Where are you in the demolition and construction process? When will it be complete?
- How many associates have been moved to a temporary place during construction, how many associates still office in the superblock?
- What are you doing with the fixtures, furniture, office equipment and scrap materials from the buildings you tear down?
- Are you cutting down existing trees to make way for the new campus?
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. The campus will have 12 office buildings, along with amenity buildings, parking decks and surface lots. The development will be constructed in phases.
How long will construction take?
In 2019, demolition, infrastructure and utility construction began, along with initial construction of the new Layout Center. Completed in late 2020, the new Layout Center became the first building on the campus to welcome associates. In 2020, we began the design and construction of the Layout Center and the support and office buildings. Additionally, we 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.
- Our goal is to open in phases through 2025. As with any major construction project, timing may change. We will 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 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.
How is the coronavirus impacting the design of the new Home Office? Are you changing the layout?
As the COVID-19 pandemic has surfaced and evolved, we have partnered with experts in workplace design, our People team and others across the business to assess how this crisis may alter our overall approach. Big picture – we don’t anticipate big changes in a post-COVID world. As time goes on, we’ve learned we will always have the need for office space, and our associates need the ability to connect. The overall approach to the campus design is very flexible so it can accommodate our future workspace and technology needs. We’re at the phase in our design planning that gives us plenty of opportunities to learn and adjust as needed.
What will parking look like around the campus?
Associates can expect ample parking conveniently co-located near each office building. 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 childcare facility?
Yes, we plan to have a child care facility at the new Walmart Home Office.
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.
Each neighborhood will feature bike storage, showers and changing rooms for cycling commuters and associates wanting to exercise during their lunch breaks.
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
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. These efforts will help us meet the goal of 10% of Bentonville-based Home Office associates using alternative transportation, like bicycles, to commute to work by 2023. 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.
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. Through each step in this project, 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 EDLC culture – not by cutting corners but through smart design.
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 (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. These designs and renderings 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.
Why did Walmart decide to use mass timber for the new campus?
We chose to use mass timber in the construction of many of our new buidings for the material’s efficiency and sustainability. At this time, our new Home Office is poised to be the world’s largest use of mass timber in a corporate campus, with more than 1.7 million cubic feet of mass timber across more than 2.4 million square feet of office space.
Is this project on schedule? If not, why?
Yes – the project is on track. We are deep in the design phase for the new Home Office campus. Site and infrastructure work are well underway. Construction of the new Layout Center on 8th Street was completed on schedule. Office buildings will be built in 2022. Currently, we expect to complete the full campus project in 2025.
Where are you in the demolition and construction process? When will it be complete?
The demolition phase is going well. We will continue the demolition, mass grading and infrastructure work in phases by zone through the end of 2022.
How many associates have been moved to a temporary place during construction, how many associates still office in the superblock?
We have moved several hundred associates to temporary office space during construction.
What are you doing with the fixtures, furniture, office equipment and scrap materials from the buildings you tear down?
As we continue to run our business between now and "move-in day," we are remodeling existing spaces and frequently moving different departments around the offices. This will allow us to lessen the total amount of new equipment required in the new campus buildings. Additionally, it will allow us to spread out the replacement cycle of office furniture and fixtures for years to come.
Are you cutting down existing trees to make way for the new campus?
The site of our new campus originally boasted a variety of both young and mature healthy trees. Many of the young trees have recently been harvested to be later planted on campus. However, a portion of these trees are a significant size, providing air quality, property value, energy savings and opportunities for associates to connect with nature, while contributing to sense of place. For that reason, select mature trees will remain on the site, and office buildings, parking decks and other structures have been situated around them, allowing them to remain in place.