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Unread 10-28-2011, 01:03 PM
 
27,263 posts, read 9,656,654 times
Reputation: 6992
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewizard16 View Post
I have a few friends at various levels at corporate and based off what I've heard your assessment is correct. The cost for Walmart to move would be huge, so the benefits of such a move would have to outweigh the costs and they just don't. They're not really having difficulty getting skilled employees or even executive level employees- a lot of their promotions are from within and there is no shortage of people with relevant experience willing to move to NWA. Just look at the growth over the past decade.... it isn't hard to recruit people to work there.

It's possible that Plano is trying to lure them, dozens (at least) of other places have and they've not succeeded thus far. Walmart has a good thing going for them in NWA overall and they have a great deal of influence there and lower operating costs than they could possibly have in a larger urban area. Walmart will never move so long as the financial side of it doesn't make sense for them, and so far it's never made sense. I don't expect that to change for a long time. They wouldn't have let Sam's build a new HQ, have continued to require vendors to have the NWA presence they do, or be moving their fashion division back to Bentonville if they planned to uproot in a few years. Can you imagine the cost of all that, and what it would cost to move their operations alone, let alone all the vendors? What I think will eventually happen is a decentralization of Walmart HQ into more significant regional offices (instead of the store-level regional offices they've recently set up, this would be regional everything) to make them a little more flexible and responsive as a company, but Bentonville will likely always be "home" to Walmart as long as they are a relevant company.
Just the additional costs of the huge support and administrative staff that Wal-Mart has at its general office. The comparative pay differences between Bentonville, AR and Plano, TX would be a huge expense that would grow over time, rather than a one-time expense as a result of a move.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 02:02 PM
 
12,425 posts, read 4,805,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
There have been rumors of this sort for a long time. A couple of years ago there were even rumors about Wal-Mart moving part of its HQ to China, because they deal with so many suppliers there. Wal-Mart does hire executives from other companies, but also has a strong tradition of promoting from within.

The rumors about Plano are because of JC Penney's move there several years ago, and because Alice Walton maintains a residence there.

As a financial decision, it doesn't make sense. As a transportation hub, Northwest Arkansas is certainly competitive with Plano. The trucking industry has had a long-standing presence in Northwest Arkansas, even before Wal-Mart came into existence. And the airport in Northwest Arkansas keeps growing, adding routes. The drive from the airport to the corporate headquarters is probably quicker and easier than the drive from DFW would be to Plano.

Wal-Mart's logistical infrastructure, with the constant inflow of sales and stock information that is easily the best in the world, depends on a committed satellite/computer network that represents a huge investment by Wal-Mart. In order to not compromise that information flow, they would essentially have to duplicate the system to wherever they moved their corporate headquarters, and run the two systems simultaneously until assuring there were no glitches. That's problematic, and the alternative, having executive offices in a different location than where that information is being compiled, is not an attractive alternative, either.

Wal-Mart has multiple warehouses throughout Northwest Arkansas as well. Huge warehouses. If there are problems with product, buyers can quickly physically examine the shipments. I just don't see Wal-Mart abandoning Northwest Arkansas, when the company is so firmly entrenched here.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I would consider this rumor to be very improbable.
That is the new business model, to lower the size of the corporate office and make larger regional centers that are closer to the client.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 02:35 PM
 
3,210 posts, read 1,678,493 times
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Why not just up and move the corporate office to Winnipeg, Manitoba? Walmart would pay less taxes if it were Canadian.

I guess Plano would offer more malls, TGI Fridays, and topless bars to the employees being in the DFW area.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,460 posts, read 2,919,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotair2 View Post
I have heard rumors that Walmart is considering moving to Plano Texas in a few years. The reason for the move is that the Corporate office is having a difficult time finding skilled people to fill positions because of the small pool of skilled employees in the area and the difficulty and cost of pulling people from other states to move to NW Arkansas.

The plano location would give them a much larger pool and Plano is offering a lot of incentives to bring them there. Has anyone else heard this?

Kind of stressed this week. I live in Fort Smith. Whirlpool closed there doors, hostile take over attempt of U.S.A. truck, and now I found out today that O.K. foods has been sold to a Mexican Corporation. Not good things for the local economy. The loss of Walmart, which is the nucleus of NW Arkansas business would be catastrophic.
Lots of good responses here, but bottom line; Ain't gonna happen
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Unread 10-28-2011, 04:36 PM
 
119 posts, read 169,045 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
There have been rumors of this sort for a long time. A couple of years ago there were even rumors about Wal-Mart moving part of its HQ to China, because they deal with so many suppliers there. Wal-Mart does hire executives from other companies, but also has a strong tradition of promoting from within.

The rumors about Plano are because of JC Penney's move there several years ago, and because Alice Walton maintains a residence there.

As a financial decision, it doesn't make sense. As a transportation hub, Northwest Arkansas is certainly competitive with Plano. The trucking industry has had a long-standing presence in Northwest Arkansas, even before Wal-Mart came into existence. And the airport in Northwest Arkansas keeps growing, adding routes. The drive from the airport to the corporate headquarters is probably quicker and easier than the drive from DFW would be to Plano.

Wal-Mart's logistical infrastructure, with the constant inflow of sales and stock information that is easily the best in the world, depends on a committed satellite/computer network that represents a huge investment by Wal-Mart. In order to not compromise that information flow, they would essentially have to duplicate the system to wherever they moved their corporate headquarters, and run the two systems simultaneously until assuring there were no glitches. That's problematic, and the alternative, having executive offices in a different location than where that information is being compiled, is not an attractive alternative, either.

Wal-Mart has multiple warehouses throughout Northwest Arkansas as well. Huge warehouses. If there are problems with product, buyers can quickly physically examine the shipments. I just don't see Wal-Mart abandoning Northwest Arkansas, when the company is so firmly entrenched here.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I would consider this rumor to be very improbable.
I don't see local warehouses being much of a consideration at all. That's such small potatoes in the context of such a large organization.

Re IT, I suppose they could leave that behind and move, say, the execs and buyers. Or some other kind of partial move, like when Boeing moved its execs and some office functions to Chicago. In the end anything IT can be replicated, it's not a deal-breaker.

The local airport is bad, it has very few routes compared to the major hubs, commercial flights are way overpriced, and the planes are just plain awful. Walmart has it own fleet though for their muckety-mucks so in the end I don't see this being a huge issue.

It would come down mostly to recruiting and really to cost. Re recruiting, it's easier to get talented young people to move to a big city that the relative sticks of NWA. But, plenty of people have been willing and able to move here. The vendors often send junior blow-ins who know the move won't be permanent, so that's not really a problem. Re cost, that's probably what matters most...practically all WM does is try and reduce costs, so would their long-terms costs be reduced by moving to a large metro.

I don't think they'll move.
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Unread 10-28-2011, 04:55 PM
 
3,210 posts, read 1,678,493 times
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Maybe Walmart can move into Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago, and rename it Walmart Tower.

Why not relocate to San Francisco or Manhattan where they are despised as much as Texas?
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Unread 10-28-2011, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
46,004 posts, read 34,764,774 times
Reputation: 18707
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotair2 View Post
I have heard rumors that Walmart is considering moving to Plano Texas in a few years. The reason for the move is that the Corporate office is having a difficult time finding skilled people to fill positions because of the small pool of skilled employees in the area and the difficulty and cost of pulling people from other states to move to NW Arkansas.

The plano location would give them a much larger pool and Plano is offering a lot of incentives to bring them there. Has anyone else heard this?

Kind of stressed this week. I live in Fort Smith. Whirlpool closed there doors, hostile take over attempt of U.S.A. truck, and now I found out today that O.K. foods has been sold to a Mexican Corporation. Not good things for the local economy. The loss of Walmart, which is the nucleus of NW Arkansas business would be catastrophic.
I think you have heard wrong. OUr daughter is being interviewed for a couple different high end jobs right now with them and the talk of Plano isn't even in the pictrure. In fact the are moving some of their dept from NY to Bentonville. That doesn't sound like they plan on locating to Plano in the next few years. The cost of relocating top talent from other areas is a drop in the bucket compared to relocating the entire headquarters to another city. As for Whirlpool, it was a huge blow to Ft Smith I am sure. But look at is this way, when companies decide to close another come along (hopefully)

Nita
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Unread 10-28-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
46,004 posts, read 34,764,774 times
Reputation: 18707
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
Nope. Did read that they are moving the fashion buying department back from NYC, though. I don't think the pool of skilled employees is all that small, either.
I agree and pulling from other areas isn't all the costly in the long run.

Nita
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Unread 10-28-2011, 11:29 PM
 
223 posts, read 511,359 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
Wal-Mart's logistical infrastructure, with the constant inflow of sales and stock information that is easily the best in the world, depends on a committed satellite/computer network that represents a huge investment by Wal-Mart. In order to not compromise that information flow, they would essentially have to duplicate the system to wherever they moved their corporate headquarters, and run the two systems simultaneously until assuring there were no glitches. That's problematic, and the alternative, having executive offices in a different location than where that information is being compiled, is not an attractive alternative, either.
Three technology assumptions, each is incorrect...
(1) Most large companies can route data traffic to an alternate processing location at any time (think "Disaster Recovery").
(2) Duplication of systems is not necessary (but could be desirable) if there were a "move".
(3) The location of a data center is in no way tied to the executives (or any employees) location. Example: I regularly work on systems in 3 other states from rural Arkansas, and the corporate HQ isn't in *any* of those other 3states.
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Unread 10-29-2011, 09:15 AM
 
165 posts, read 298,048 times
Reputation: 74
To the OP: not gonna happen.

Many of you clearly have never done business with Walmart, understand the operations of Walmart or the retailer / supplier relationship between Walmart and all the CPG companies with sales and marketing offices in NWA.

To read things like companies can't get talented professionals to relocate to NWA or that the CPG companies put 'junior blow in's' in Bentonville is laughable.

From the retailer perspective: do you truly believe Walmart only recruits from the "small pool of skilled employees in the area" or do you really think relocation cost is an issue. Walmart attracts and recruits talent globally with great success, it is well known they offer solid financial packages, a decent work/life balance in beautiful NWA and having Walmart on your resumé opens doors down the road of a persons professional path.

From the supplier perspective: think about it, Walmart is the largest customer to most every one of these CPG companies and they know better than to put a rookie on the account ... only their best, most experienced sales and marketing professionals are given the opportunity to work on the Walmart / Sam's Club businesses. Many of these executive level people will do anything they can to stay in NWA if the time comes for promotion or to rotate the seat.

Bentonville Arkansas is the retail capitol of the world and will be for a long time coming.
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