While staying in Branson, Missouri in May of 2017 I made a daytrip down to Bentonville, about 2 hours southwest. Branson is in southwest Missouri and Bentonville is in northwest Arkansas. This trip enabled me to travel on some of the scenic backroads which were on my list as well as visiting Walmart headquarters. I have a first cousin once removed who was an executive at Walmart at the time I visited the area but I did not contact him as I figured he’d be busy working as I’d only be there in the middle of the day.
I was quite surprised to see how small Walmart’s corporate headquarters is:
It may be like the time I went to Redmond, Washington to see where Microsoft is and after seeing a multi-story building there I remember thinking “nice, but I was expecting something more substantial”. Then I saw a sign indicating that I was looking at Building 19 (and they have many more than that!). Well, I went where the signs told me to go in Bentonville and this was all I could find. Maybe there is more underground? Then again, I guess people who work there just order products online and have them delivered directly to their distribution centers throughout the country so perhaps they don’t need that much room.
Bentonville itself is a very nice little town and I did visit the Walmart Museum downtown:
Inside is the actual 1979 red and white Ford F-150 which Sam Walton drove and, as you can see in the photo above, a similar truck is parked out front of their original 5 and dime store which is next to the museum entrance. If you look at the end of a recent Walmart commercial featuring many movie vehicles (yellow Transformers VW, silver Back to the Future DeLorean, among others) you will see a 1979 red and white Ford F-150 pickup truck pulling in to the Walmart parking lot. I’m not sure but it may have been featured in other Walmart commercials as well.
I made another daytrip deeper into Arkansas on more scenic roads and will be returning to central Arkansas towards the end of my “Texas Loop” (which I will feature in future posts).