Sam’s Club to build 34,000-SF building for innovation on Bentonville campus

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 3,562 views 

An illustration shows the proposed Sam's Club Design Studio in Bentonville.

Bentonville retailer Sam’s Club is planning to expand its physical footprint with a new 34,000-square-foot building on its corporate campus west of Moberly Lane in Bentonville.

The Sam’s Club Design Studio will be a dedicated space for innovation. Chief Product Officer Tim Simmons shared the news Monday (Sept. 19) during the first day of the GroceryShop conference in Las Vegas.

In an accompanying blog post on Monday, Martin Granstrom, the company’s vice president in charge of product design and research, shared additional details.

“This is the first dedicated space at Sam’s Club for innovating, creating, and collaborating,” Granstrom wrote. “A building where all associates are welcomed and encouraged to pitch, develop, and curate new ideas for the better of our business.”

Granstrom wrote that a dedicated space will give Sam’s Club several advantages:

  • Neutral space allows easier collaboration with external partners
  • Workshop-based space puts innovators in the mindset of creation, not work
  • Physical product and hardware testing without current space constraints
  • Strong communication of the commitment to being a design-led organization with this investment and footprint

“We are still the experiment Sam Walton started in 1983, and it will always be our goal at Sam’s Club to create the most seamless and convenient user experiences,” Granstrom wrote. “For us, our Design Studio announcement officially marks innovation being woven into our company’s fabric for the future.”

Sam’s Club spokeswoman Allison Van Matre said construction is expected to start in the spring of 2023 and should be completed the following spring. The construction site is in the south parking lot of the Sam’s Club home office, at the corner of Southeast Simple Savings Drive and Southeast S Street.

Nielsen Architecture of Bentonville is building the design studio. The interior architecture is being done by Taylor Workshop of Atlanta.

Sam’s Club operates as the warehouse club subsidiary of Walmart Inc. The company did not disclose the investment cost for the construction project or the number of Sam’s Club employees working at the Bentonville headquarters.

Sam’s Club has operated from its current headquarters since early 2009. Walmart purchased the building, formerly known as the Superior Building, for $29.9 million in September 2008 to serve as the new headquarters for Sam’s Club and about 1,000 of its employees. They previously were housed in multiple buildings on Southwest Eighth Street, near the Walmart headquarters.

Walmart bought the building from developers Burt Hanna, owner of Hanna’s Candle and Greenland Composites, and David Slone, owner of Superior Auto Group in Fayetteville.

The four-story building was built in 2007.