While Amazon Plays the Field, Walmart Stays True to Arkansas


Outside a Walmart distribution center in Bentonville, Ark., where the company’s home office is located.

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Take that Amazon. Walmart is doubling down on its hometown of Bentonville, Ark.

One week after Amazon announced, with great fanfare, that it is planning to build a second headquarters in a city offering the best perks, Walmart said on Friday that it is replacing its aging headquarters in Bentonville with a new one.

In a note to employees on Friday, Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said the company’s current corporate campus — a hodgepodge of more than 20 buildings spanning several communities — are “significantly beyond their shelf life.”

The new home office, centered on 350 acres, will be better suited to a more “digitally native work force,” he said.

“You’ll see improved parking, meal services, fitness, and natural light — yes, natural light,” Mr. McMillon wrote.

Walmart’s current office in Bentonville was built by the company’s founder, Sam Walton, in 1971, but as the company has grown into the nation’s largest private employer with 1.5 million workers in the United States, it has had to add buildings to house its many employees.

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