Public Gets First Look at Planned Walmart Home Office

Walmart shared its first view of the company’s planned new home office in Bentonville earlier today.

Videos shared by the company provide viewers with a samplings of how the new buildings on the 350-acre site east of Bentonville’s downtown area will connect with the rest of the community. There are lakes, paved bike trails, pedestrian paths and tall trees envisioned throughout the campus. The company plans to give its full attention to environmental sustainability.

The company noted that it plans to open the new campus in phases between 2020 and 2024. Demolition, infrastructure and utility construction starts this summer.

Dan Bartlett, an executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, provides an overview of the project on a Walmart website. A question and answer section on the Walmart website includes some great information.

The home office should be the biggest construction project in the history of Northwest Arkansas.

Walmart Remains Fortune 500's King, but it's J.B. Hunt that's Rising Fast

Walmart remains king of the Fortune 500, but it’s one of Northwest Arkansas’ other leading companies that’s rapidly rising up the annual list.

Fortune magazine put J.B. Hunt Transport Services at No. 354, moving the logistics company up 41 spots from a year ago. Top-ranked Walmart and No. 80 Tyson Foods held the same positions as last year.

The impressive growth of the three companies over decades turned Northwest Arkansas into one of the world’s most important places for business. 

“J.B. Hunt is taking on some of the biggest challenges in the industry while maintaining a tradition of providing safe, reliable transportation and logistics services,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt, in a press release. “Our inclusion in this year’s Fortune 500 list demonstrates our commitment to excellence and efficiency as we grow and expand to meet customer needs.”

J.B. Hunt’s 2018 revenue was $8.6 billion, a 19.8 percent increase from the previous year. It first arrived on the Fortune 500 list at No. 485 in 2013, and it’s moved up in every subsequent year.

Yet, it’s the gap on the list between Walmart and No. 2 Exxon-Mobil that’s most incredible about the Fortune 500 list. Exxon-Mobil’s mere $290 billion doesn’t hold a candle to the $514.4 billion received by Walmart in 2018. As Fortune editors noted in some of their online commentary, it doesn’t appear Walmart has much chance of moving back anytime soon.

Walmart, founded in 1962, topped the Fortune 500 for the seventh consecutive year. It’s held the top spot 15 times in all.

No. 80 Tyson Foods increased its revenue to $40.1 billion in 2018, a boost from $38.3 billion in 2017. Tyson Foods’ revenue ranks second among food production companies on the list.

In all, Arkansas has six Fortune 500 companies on the 2019 list: Walmart, Tyson Foods, No. 257 Murphy USA, J.B. Hunt, No. 458 Dillard’s and No. 493 Windstream Holdings.


Nation's Top Golfers Arrive for NCAA Championships

Golf enthusiasts gain the opportunity to experience something new in Northwest Arkansas as the region is the site of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf National Championships, played at The Blessings Golf Club.

The women’s event starts with a practice round on Thursday and the first round of the tournament is the following day. The women’s final will be May 22.

Men’s play is May 24-29.


The 24 women’s teams in the tournament include Arkansas and a few of its Southeastern Conference foes: Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Mississippi. The 2018 national champion (Arizona), 2018 individual champion (Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest) and 2018 National Player of the Year (Maria Fassi of Arkansas) will be playing.

The Arkansas men’s team didn’t make it to the national championships, but freshman Julian Perico did advance and will play in the tournament as an individual thanks to his strong play at the Austin Regional.

The national championships in Northwest Arkansas will offer something that’s never been provided at an NCAA golf championship: Free admission. The University of Arkansas announced on April 9 that Tyson Foods and the Tyson family had provided funding that would allow all attendees to receive complimentary tickets over the entire two weeks.

Physical tickets will not be needed for entrance into the event. Instead, commemorative tickets will be given to attendees upon entrance into the event. Parking will be free as well.

“We felt it was imperative to provide people throughout Arkansas every opportunity to watch the country’s best collegiate golfers compete for the NCAA title on a course worthy of crowning a champion,” said Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson, who owns The Blessings Golf Club.

Talk Business & Politics last month published an interview with Tyson about the thrill of hosting the national championships at the course he owns. The Blessings was built 15 years ago, taking golfers from the areas in the floodplain near Clear Creek to spots 65 feet above it on a plateau. The course is recognized across Arkansas for its difficulty and the challenges it provides to even the best golfers.

There remain opportunities to volunteer and help out with the NCAA tournament that’s about to start. So far, more than 375 people have signed up to volunteers in a variety of areas, and there’s more information available about volunteering and how to get involved.

A complete schedule of NCAA tournament events over the next two weeks is available on a Razorbacks athletics webpage.

Pictured at the top: University of Arkansa golfer Maria Fassi is among the players in the women’s field at the NCAA Women’s Golf National Championships at The Blessings Golf Club in Northwest Arkansas.

Plug and Play Expanding to NWA to Address Supply Chain Challenges

Plug and Play Expanding to NWA to Address Supply Chain Challenges

Plug and Play  announced plans today to expand and create a new supply chain and logistics accelerator in Northwest Arkansas.

The new program will bring innovative startups from around the world to Northwest Arkansas and build upon the fast-growing region’s robust innovation ecosystem. The area is home to the three Fortune 500 founding partners, a network of global and national companies that support these enterprises and the University of Arkansas. An official launch event will take place in Northwest Arkansas this summer.

Springdale Joins National Signing Day to Highlight Skilled Trades

Springdale Joins National Signing Day to Highlight Skilled Trades

Ten Springdale Har-Ber High School students who completed a portion of the training they’ll need to someday become electricians and plumbers were among those who took part in the nation’s first SkillsUSA National Signing Day.

The purpose of the National Signing Day was to raise awareness of skilled trade careers and to help close a U.S. skills gap. The nation needs far more people in the skilled trades than there are people to take on those careers.