CROSSMARK Center For Collaboration Opens In Bentonville

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The grand opening ceremony for the CROSSMARK Center for Collaboration will be Thursday (July 10) at 3 p.m. It's located next to the Walmart Home Office in Bentonville.

The state-of-the-art facility opened July 1 to provide interactive meetings between Walmart and its suppliers. There are 13 conference rooms where the company's clients create ideas that get shoppers to buy their products.

"We've got people in marketing, you have people in finance, you have analysts, you have all kinds of supply chain folks and all kinds of folks that are part of the discussion," said Mike Graen, VP of Collaboration.

"We think this creates a much more collaborative place to actually conduct those kinds of meetings," he said.

Walmart has more than 10,000 stores worldwide.

Inside the center there are shelves to simulate a Walmart store and see what works as far as product placement. The center also has a kitchen with cameras to see how a customer uses a product once they take it home.

There are also two digital walls, which the company states are the only two in the state of Arkansas. Both are 16 ft wide and 8 ft tall. It makes presentations more dynamic and 3-dimensional, Graen said.

"We think creating it and putting it in a virtual and visual environment versus power points or a bunch of spreadsheets with numbers etc., is a better way of doing that," Graen said. "That's what we are going to try and leverage this facility to try to get into a platform where this data can really be showed in a much more dynamic way to make decisions."

After the grand opening ceremony, they'll have tours of the building. At 4:30 p.m. they'll hold a reception to honor the retiring CROSSMARK CEO Joe Crafton.