Walmart Inc. of Bentonville held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday to christen its new contact center at the site of a former Sam’s Club on South Thompson Street in Springdale.
Walmart moved the center from a Bentonville location that had to make way for the retailer’s new headquarters. More than 900 employees work at the Springdale location, and the company said 95% of those workers are full-time.
The 130,000-SF facility houses Walmart’s call center personnel, who answer questions and help with problems from Walmart employees and customers. Walmart officials said the center handles nearly 6 million calls or other forms of contact a year. The facility has a fitness center, a cafe, conference rooms and will be open 24-7.
“This is a wonderful example of where we are going,” said Greg Foran, the president and CEO of Walmart U.S.
Walmart also presented a $20,000 check to the Springdale Chamber of Commerce to help with workforce development programs.
“This is huge for our community,” said Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse. “To see this building repurposed, this was done first class.”
Sprouse said operation, with nearly 1,000 employees and the expectation of more to come, will be a boon for the city.
“The real asset is the people who work in the building,” Sprouse said.
Mark Ibbotson, a Walmart U.S. executive vice president in charge of realty, said the contact center is the “beating heart” of Walmart. It is why the company wanted to make its workplace a state-of-the-art facility with all the amenities.
“This feels like a new Walmart; it feels like the next generation,” Ibbotson said. “If you want to know what is going on at Walmart, spend an hour here. They are the first line of defense, the first line of advice and the first line of support.”