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edensfall

Why isn't Wal-Mart getting in on the real estate game?

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It never really made sense to me how the world's largest company has a small headquartered office building. I don't even know how tall it is but I'm guessing around 10 stories, maybe smaller. But why doesnt Wal-Mart build a series of office towers in Bentonville and Rogers along the Interstate and through out the Pinnacle area for their vendors. So much money could be made from rent that it would be rediculous. It's not like it would be hard to fill office space, Especially if China jumps on the boat that would be even more international business. Not to mention the WTC in Pinnacle Hills. Maybe it's just me wanting to see a high-rise race in Pinnacle, but something needs to happen soon, because all of these vendors building offices all over the place in random lots is causing MORE SPRAWL. What do you guys think?

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Wal-Mart's HQ isn't even 10 Floors, infact it's only 2 or 3 at the most.

The simple reason that WM doesn't build office towers along I-540 is 1) Land is very expensive along this corridor not to mention most of it has already been bought by private investors for their own personal projects, and 2) There is already a large percentage of unused Class A office space in the area.

A good area for this would be either in Pinnacle along Hospital Boulevard or in Bentonville along I-540 near the ISD Building.

There is a small high-rise race going on in Pinnacle.

1) JB Hunt Parkway Tower - 6 Floors (Completed)

2) Embassy Suites Tower 1 - 8 Floors (Completed)

3) Embassy Suites Tower 2 Expansion - 6 Floors (Under Construction)

4) Holiday Inn - 6 Floors (Under Construction)

5) Unknown Office Tower - 10 Floors (Hasn't Started)

6) Unknown Pinnacle Tower Project - 10+ Floors (Hasn't Started)

7) Medical Professions Builiding - 8 Floors (Hasn't Started)

8) Westin Hotel & Condo Development - 22 Floors (Hasn't Started)

I myself would like to see more. I think if Wal-Mart did anything in the future, it would be a Wal-Mart Village kind of deal, similar to Dillard's HQ in Little Rock. I could see a stretch of Mid-rise/High Rises along with other office jobs. I don't know if this wil ever happen, but I would like to see it myself. I hate going to work for one of the world's largest companies in a building that looks like a factory, while companies like Sears and Target have huge high-rises.

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Yeah I guess I realy didnt take into account how much the land costs were up there, and about the vacant office space, but atleast we know that there will never be a shortage of office space in NWA anytime soon with all these mid rises. I just wish instead of spreading them out that they would focus on one area and build higher instead of outward. I also agree with you about the whole going to work for the worlds biggest company in a building that looks like a factory, lol, you'd think Wally world would atleast do something about the outside appearance or something, it just looks like an ugly box. Whats that other building at the headquarters that seems to be the tallest, it looked taller than three stories to me, maybe I'm wrong. All I know is that it has the red aviation lights ontop of it so aircraft can see it, which seems kinda lame for its height and its proximity to the Bentonville Municipal Airport.

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If it's the one off I-540, then it's the ISD Building, which is a bit taller than the homeoffice.

If you're talking about the office building across the street, which is Bentonville Plaza, that is 9 floors and is a vendor oriented building.

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Oh....ok I'm an idiot, I thought the 9 story was the WM HQ because the sign off of 71B is right there.

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Oh....ok I'm an idiot, I thought the 9 story was the WM HQ because the sign off of 71B is right there.

Oh yeah, the Wal-Mart Home Office is the building that looks like a welfare office from the 70's... actually I've seen some welfare offices from the 70's that look nicer than the Wal-Mart Home Office! :lol:

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I wonder how long it will be before WM decides to build a new corporate Home Office.

Think about how much Wal-Mart has in profits. I think it was a little over $250 Billion last year. I myself would like to see several high-rises to help give a new image for the home office.

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Big, fancy buildings defeat the minimization of overhead that made Wal-Mart great. In a way I respect that the HQs is kind of fugly for the same reasons I liked Sam because he drove that old truck.

Then again, maybe they're just waiting to build it in Plano.... (just kidding)

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I wonder how long it will be before WM decides to build a new corporate Home Office.

Think about how much Wal-Mart has in profits. I think it was a little over $250 Billion last year. I myself would like to see several high-rises to help give a new image for the home office.

I suppose now that they seem more concerned about their image they might actually do something. Not too long ago though I wouldn't have thought Wal-mart would ever bother and spend the money.

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All in all, I think they should construct a decent size mid to high rise building, not just for looks, but for the employees that would like to look out of a window. :lol:

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I suppose now that they seem more concerned about their image they might actually do something. Not too long ago though I wouldn't have thought Wal-mart would ever bother and spend the money.

Wal-Mart would actually damage their image by "beautifying" their Home Office. Wal-Mart has stood on the principle that every penny they don't spend is a penny the customer saves by shopping at their stores. That was one of Mr. Sam's principles that still exists in todays Wal-Mart. Making the stores look nicer is being done because that's what the customers want and since customers don't shop at the Home Office there's no point in fixing it up.

Besides, Wal-Mart would look like a hypocrite if they spend unecessary money on their Home Office when Wa-Mart is the one forcing large companies that do business with them to control their own spending. Wal-Mart has been repeatedly attacked for the way they do business with suppliers, but it's in the interest of the customers to not pay more because the suppliers don't know how to control their own costs. Many suppliers actually appreciate that Wal-Mart's heavy handedness has helped their company reduce unecessary costs.

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Big, fancy buildings defeat the minimization of overhead that made Wal-Mart great. In a way I respect that the HQs is kind of fugly for the same reasons I liked Sam because he drove that old truck.

Then again, maybe they're just waiting to build it in Plano.... (just kidding)

Anyone remember the Sears Tower in Chicago?

Anyone remember Sears? (They used to be in just about every town of 20,000 or more in one form or another.)

Seems like the Sears folks went vertical and built (perhaps psychologically as well as practically) an ivory tower while Wal-Mart remained close to the ground, perhaps more on the level of its customers. And now one of these two companies has been Number 1 on the Fortune 500 list for a couple of years, while another almost dropped out of sight completely and resurfaced running commercials to a (lower-quality, IMO) soundtrack of the old Crosby, Stills & Nash song "Our house".

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Anyone remember the Sears Tower in Chicago?

Anyone remember Sears? (They used to be in just about every town of 20,000 or more in one form or another.)

Seems like the Sears folks went vertical and built (perhaps psychologically as well as practically) an ivory tower while Wal-Mart remained close to the ground, perhaps more on the level of its customers. And now one of these two companies has been Number 1 on the Fortune 500 list for a couple of years, while another almost dropped out of sight completely and resurfaced running commercials to a (lower-quality, IMO) soundtrack of the old Crosby, Stills & Nash song "Our house".

That's a pretty good analogy, I have to say.

It also teaches you the mortality of retail. Most retail dynasties haven't stayed on top long. Formulas that work well now don't when fickle tastes change. That said, Wal-Mart is far more dominant than Sears was in its prime.

That said, Sears used to thrive off of its catalog business, as did JC Penney's. You wonder what the retail world will be like in 20-30 years. It will be different, it's just hard to say how it will be different. More internet-based for sure. Still, it's hard to see what changes will occur before they do occur.

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^

Definately more personalized. Anyone ever seen stores where the customer scans everything into their basket and then goes to the cashier with the list of all their products, and the employee rings up the order fairly fast? Some Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets have them.

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^

Definately more personalized. Anyone ever seen stores where the customer scans everything into their basket and then goes to the cashier with the list of all their products, and the employee rings up the order fairly fast? Some Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets have them.

My only experience with those scanguns was a bad one. I set up my account and scanned/bagged my items, but when I got to the checkout the cashier messed something up and had to scan everything over again which ended up taking nearly three times longer than if I had just not used the scangun. My wife was a customer trainer for those things and she got very little interest in them from the customers. I prefer the self-checkouts myself.

RFID is the future of retail and Wal-Mart is the future of RFID. I kinda like the way that sounds.

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Wal-Mart would actually damage their image by "beautifying" their Home Office. Wal-Mart has stood on the principle that every penny they don't spend is a penny the customer saves by shopping at their stores. That was one of Mr. Sam's principles that still exists in todays Wal-Mart. Making the stores look nicer is being done because that's what the customers want and since customers don't shop at the Home Office there's no point in fixing it up.

Besides, Wal-Mart would look like a hypocrite if they spend unecessary money on their Home Office when Wa-Mart is the one forcing large companies that do business with them to control their own spending. Wal-Mart has been repeatedly attacked for the way they do business with suppliers, but it's in the interest of the customers to not pay more because the suppliers don't know how to control their own costs. Many suppliers actually appreciate that Wal-Mart's heavy handedness has helped their company reduce unecessary costs.

This is written by someone who understands the culture of Wal-Mart.

That said, I understand Wal-Mart did purchase the old fairgrounds in Bentonville and someday will likely build a new headquarters there. I have very good inside information on this--no timetable--but it could happen. I'm sure IF they ever do a new headquarters it will probably be sprawling and made up of low cost, non-flashy buildings. I will not be a Sears tower!

Anyone remember the Sears Tower in Chicago?

Anyone remember Sears? (They used to be in just about every town of 20,000 or more in one form or another.)

Seems like the Sears folks went vertical and built (perhaps psychologically as well as practically) an ivory tower while Wal-Mart remained close to the ground, perhaps more on the level of its customers. And now one of these two companies has been Number 1 on the Fortune 500 list for a couple of years, while another almost dropped out of sight completely and resurfaced running commercials to a (lower-quality, IMO) soundtrack of the old Crosby, Stills & Nash song "Our house".

So true!

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This is written by someone who understands the culture of Wal-Mart.

That said, I understand Wal-Mart did purchase the old fairgrounds in Bentonville and someday will likely build a new headquarters there. I have very good inside information on this--no timetable--but it could happen. I'm sure IF they ever do a new headquarters it will probably be sprawling and made up of low cost, non-flashy buildings. I will not be a Sears tower!

I agree, Wal-mart is much more likely to go the low sprawling complex route than a tall tower route.

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This is written by someone who understands the culture of Wal-Mart.

That said, I understand Wal-Mart did purchase the old fairgrounds in Bentonville and someday will likely build a new headquarters there. I have very good inside information on this--no timetable--but it could happen. I'm sure IF they ever do a new headquarters it will probably be sprawling and made up of low cost, non-flashy buildings. I will not be a Sears tower!

So true!

Really? I was told it was going to be for parking. Lord knows we could use a parking garage over there. May'be they'll incorporate a parking garage into it.

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That said, I understand Wal-Mart did purchase the old fairgrounds in Bentonville and someday will likely build a new headquarters there. I have very good inside information on this--no timetable--but it could happen. I'm sure IF they ever do a new headquarters it will probably be sprawling and made up of low cost, non-flashy buildings. I will not be a Sears tower!

That is interesting about Wal-Mart owning the old fairgrounds. Wal-Mart also owns the large parcel of land to the south and west of the new Sam's Club on 14th Street (Hwy 102). I could see Wal-Mart putting the old fairgrounds to use by expanding some operations there, like moving the logistics and transportation department there, which would free up the property further up on North Walton Blvd. to be redeveloped as the north end of Bentonville is seriously lacking.

There are a couple of reasons that I don't think Wal-Mart would move their Home Office to the fairgrounds:

1.) The 8th Street widening and the new interchange is being done to facilitate the current Home Office and moving it would seem wasteful. On the other hand the "old" Home Office could be redeveloped into hotels, restaurants and offices as an expansion to Bentonville Plaza, which could benefit from the upgraded 8th Street.

2.) The location of the new fairgrounds doesn't have the infrastructure to handle the traffic the Home Office would bring, but being walking distance to downtown would be ideal for employees.

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I agree, Wal-mart is much more likely to go the low sprawling complex route than a tall tower route.

I agree.

A sprawling complex can be impressive. Sprint's HQs in Overland Park near KC is like a large college campus - attractive and functional. Wal-Mart could pull something similar off at some point with all of the land in Benton Co. Building an isolated high rise just for the sake of building a high rise doesn't make a lot of sense, it costs more per SF and is less convertible to a different function.

Then there's the issue of how much Wal-Mart will really grow in the future. If it goes global it will obviously need more space but if it falters and only grows another 25% or less before leveling off it may not need an expansive HQs.

I'd like to see Wal-Mart get their offices out of abandoned older stores and into office buildings around town. That really makes them look cheap, which of course they are. I just don't think it does much for NWA when you see those former storess modified into offices without much of a facelift.

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No kidding, it looks kinda trashy, but if Wal-Mart is going to go the sprawling route, they need to hurry before all the land in Bentonville is built up by their vendors.

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No kidding, it looks kinda trashy, but if Wal-Mart is going to go the sprawling route, they need to hurry before all the land in Bentonville is built up by their vendors.

Talked with a long time W-M employee yesterday and he brought this up.

He said the land where the new Sam's Club (and an older W-M neighborhood market) now sits was going to be the site of a W-M headquarters highrise. Then he said W-M execs realized that if there was a direct (terrorist type) attack on that building they'd lose a LOT of people. He said the plan for a big centralized HQ was scrapped, and said that W-M is built in Bentonville in such a way that if one building is heavily damaged the company can still keep functioning well. (He also said note the big flower pots at the door to the current W-M HQ...they're protection for the building in more ways than one.)

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Talked with a long time W-M employee yesterday and he brought this up.

He said the land where the new Sam's Club (and an older W-M neighborhood market) now sits was going to be the site of a W-M headquarters highrise. Then he said W-M execs realized that if there was a direct (terrorist type) attack on that building they'd lose a LOT of people. He said the plan for a big centralized HQ was scrapped, and said that W-M is built in Bentonville in such a way that if one building is heavily damaged the company can still keep functioning well. (He also said note the big flower pots at the door to the current W-M HQ...they're protection for the building in more ways than one.)

Cool info. I wonder what those pots do?

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Talked with a long time W-M employee yesterday and he brought this up.

He said the land where the new Sam's Club (and an older W-M neighborhood market) now sits was going to be the site of a W-M headquarters highrise. Then he said W-M execs realized that if there was a direct (terrorist type) attack on that building they'd lose a LOT of people. He said the plan for a big centralized HQ was scrapped, and said that W-M is built in Bentonville in such a way that if one building is heavily damaged the company can still keep functioning well. (He also said note the big flower pots at the door to the current W-M HQ...they're protection for the building in more ways than one.)

Let's not forget about Wal-Mart's underground data storage facility behind the Pineville Wal-Mart. Even if all of Wal-Mart's Bentonville facilities were rendered inoperable the stores would still be functioning. Maybe not smoothly, but they wouldn't lose any sales.

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