Car-Mart to move corporate office to Rogers, from Bentonville

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 4,094 views 

Bentonville-based America’s Car-Mart announced Friday (May 29) it is relocating its headquarters to Rogers in order to accommodate its growth.

The buy here, pay here used car dealer will move its corporate office from 802 Southeast Plaza Ave., Suite 200, in Bentonville – in The Shoppes at Fountain Plaza development – to the 120,000-square-foot Benchmark Group building at 1805 N. Second St. in Rogers.

“This move represents a significant milestone in the growth and evolution of our company,” said Jeff Williams, president and CEO. “We’re growing, and we need a bigger space to accommodate our associates, and to foster a more productive work environment.

“For the first time in a long time, we will have all of our corporate associates in the same facility,” Williams added. “This move will allow us to be more efficient and better serve our dealerships and our growing customer base. The new location features improved workspaces that will help to facilitate internal and external collaboration and communication. We’re excited to join the Benchmark Group in their beautiful building and to be a part of downtown Rogers.”

Car-Mart will share the building with engineering and architectural company Benchmark Group. With 171 area employees, Benchmark was ranked No. 2 on Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s list of Largest Architectural & Engineering Firms, published in February.

“On behalf of the entire Benchmark Group team, we would like to welcome each one of the Car-Mart associates to our facility and downtown Rogers,” said David Kimball, president of Benchmark Group. “We are honored to share our location with a company that was also founded in Rogers and shares a lot of the same values as our founder, Paul C. Parks, instilled at Benchmark Group.”

Car-Mart recently reported record revenue of $196 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, which ended April 30. The company ended the quarter with 148 dealerships in 12 states.

“We are excited to see Car-Mart relocate to Rogers into such a wonderful building in downtown Rogers,” said Raymond Burns, president and CEO of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. “Any day that jobs are coming to our city is a day to celebrate. The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes Car-Mart to their new home in Rogers, and we look forward to working with them to continue their growth and expansion within our community.”

Williams said Car-Mart had been working to move when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and it didn’t contribute to the need to move. He added that the company was out of room at its existing offices in Bentonville and Bethel Heights.

More than half of the company’s corporate employees have been working from home since the pandemic started, and Williams said the company is slowly bringing them back to the office. “[The company] will take our time to ensure we can provide a safe and healthy working environment,” he said. “The new building will allow for ample social distancing and room to grow.”

Car-Mart will use the fourth floor of the Benchmark Group building, or about 28,000 square feet, and have access to the common areas on the first floor and the entire campus, Williams said. That compares to the existing offices of about 17,000 square feet in Bentonville and 4,500 square feet in Bethel Heights.

The company has about 130 employees who will work at the new location in Rogers, Williams said. The company has about 2,000 employees in 12 states.

Car-Mart has been based in Bentonville for more than 20 years, and the move to Rogers will be completed this weekend (May 30-31), Williams said.

“We were focused on finding a great building with amenities like a corporate campus for our associates and room to grow,” he said. “The fact that it ended up in Rogers, where we were founded, can be looked at as maybe completing the circle.”

In 1981, Bill Fleeman, a homebuilder, founded Car-Mart in Rogers. He sold the business to Crown Group Inc. of Irving, Texas, in 1999 for $41 million. In January 2002, Crown Group changed its name to America’s Car-Mart and became a public company.

Shares of Car-Mart (NASDAQ: CRMT) closed Friday at $79.57, down $1.42 or 1.75%. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $129.70 and $35.18.