The last person who would have expected Walmart to be a harbinger of high taste is the company’s late founder, Sam Walton who was famous for hating ostentatious displays of wealth, but the retailer’s luxury game can only help the company today.
Most of the residents of the town and its surrounding area are the company’s top executives mixed with those of vendors and together, the C-suite locals are building a town they want to live in, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, includes an art museum, cooking school, a boutique hotel, and nature trails.
As a result of their efforts, median house prices have increased by 20 percent in the past five years with last year’s price hovering just over $200,000. The average sales price in downtown Betonville is now at $192 per square foot compared to $63 six years ago.
Walmart senior vice president David Redfield moved into a three-bedroom condo he custom-designed the interior and paid $700,000 for the unit last year.
“I wanted to make it feel less like small town Arkansas,” he told the Journal.
He’s not the only one making similar moves in their homes and in the town in general, which can only be good for the company business — city-like amenities help Walmart’s upper-level recruitment drive for candidates whose tastes are often more in line with living in major urban centers. [WSJ] — Erin Hudson