IMPORTANT: Always call the business before going to take the factory tour. We try and keep our data s up-to-date as possible but you should always check first.
Wal-Mart Visitors Center
Bentonville, AR 72716
Latitude: 36.372335 Longitude: -94.209494
This is a visitor center only, no actual factory tour.
Located in Sam Walton's original Bentonville variety store, the Wal-Mart Visitors Center traces the origin and growth of Wal-Mart.
The center was created as an educational and informative facility for those interested in this American retailing success story.
If you're ever in Northwest Arkansas, make sure to include a visit to the Wal-Mart Visitors Center in your plans.
Mr. Sam was amazed people would want to come to the center. He said, "It's just a company, and there are a lot of companies." Approximately 57,000 people visit the center each year.
The Visitors Center opened on May 9, 1990, exactly 40 years to the day after Sam originally purchased the store. In honor of the occasion, President Bill Clinton, who was Governor of Arkansas at the time, played a few tunes on his saxophone as it rained and rained. Sam noted that it had also rained on that day 40 years before.
When Sam's original store became available as the site for the Visitors Center, it was purchased by the company and completely demolished inside. The only original thing remaining was the floor, which was Mr. Sam's favorite thing. He used to joke that he was never able to keep it as pretty as it is in the Visitors Center.
After years in a box, we were able to bring Mrs. Walton's wedding dress back to life. When Helen saw it during the Walton Family Wing Exhibit Area opening, she said, "Hmm, I'm going home right now!" Flashing a big grin, she then added, "To go on a diet - I can't get into that dress anymore!"
After church on Sunday, Mr. Sam would drive his old truck out to bird hunt. That's how it got all beat up. Helen was always scolding him about his crazy driving.
Most people are amazed to see the simplicity of Mr. Sam's original office and then his last office, which in keeping with his character is very modest.
To vividly capture the true history of Wal-Mart and the personality of its Founder Sam Walton along with the others involved in its growth and development, a simple walk through the company's looking glass - the Wal-Mart Visitors Center - is all that is needed.