Walmart plans to move its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters to a nearby 350 acre campus over the next few years, which, according to the first artistic renditions, resembles a shiny business hub in Silicon Valley more than the home of a discount dealer.
The company, which has more than 14,000 corporate employees, announced on Friday that it is breaking a new HQ in northwest Arkansas just a few blocks from its current location. The new campus will consist of four quads related to walking and cycling trails.
The buildings located in Walmart's current headquarters are nearly 50 years old and have been built in 1971. They are also quite fragmented, consisting of 21 separate buildings, some restored former warehouses, according to Business Insider.
Few employees from different sectors in a single campus were important to the company, said Dan Bartlett, CEO of Walmart, on conversations with journalists. Equally important, it seems, is the appeal of an open green campus like that of Google or Apple. For Walmart, a more updated corporate HQ is part of increasing its appeal to future employees.
"It's a very competitive talent war," Bartlett said.
The new campus will offer outdoor meeting rooms, bike paths, plenty of parking and an on-site kindergarten, Walmart said. It will also include what Bartlett called a "massive" public park.
Walmart executives visited other company campuses while planning their new headquarters, including Apple, McDonald and Deloitte Fitness Center, as well as universities, including Stanford, the University of Texas and the University of Arkansas.
The company plans to break the ground at the new headquarters in July and move employees in stages, beginning in 2020 and ending around 2024, Bartlett said.
– Associated Press contributed to this report.