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I wrote a post yesterday talking about Canoo’s move to relocate their HQ and build small-package delivery vehicles in Bentonville, AR (a town basically synonymous with Walmart) and how this makes perfect sense for a big partnership with Walmart given their huge last-mile / same-day delivery ambitions. https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/comments/qvdrtu/canoo_walmart_hints_speculation/
Today I wanted to give some additional info on why I think this partnership is very likely to happen. Basically, it seems like all of the other companies headquartered in Bentonville have a partnership with Walmart already and it seems like common practice for Walmart to encourage their suppliers to move to the city. Take for example JB Hunt, a logistics carrier located in Benton county, that has had a >30 year relationship with Walmart. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160412005327/en/Walmart-Names-J.B.-Hunt-Transport-Services-Inc.-the-2015-Intermodal-Carrier-of-the-Year
When looking into this phenomenon further, I found a very telling article about how development happens in Bentonville. Here are some of the more interesting snippets:
"For the next seventy years, the development of Bentonville and the larger NWA region was tied directly to being Walmart’s headquarters. Suppliers and business service firms seeking to do business with Walmart were required to migrate to the hinterlands of “upper South” Arkansas as a prerequisite for contracting with the company."
"The Waltons have deployed their charitable foundation to exploit Bentonville’s willingness to trade democratic control over planning and decision-making for access to Walton capital."
"Bentonville’s transformation is dependent upon a supposedly nonmarket actor, the Walton Family Foundation, working like a parallel state, to set development priorities, organize the logistics to realize these projects, and assemble the capital to subsidize it all." https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/03/walmart-walton-family-foundation-bentonville-arkansas-company-town
There’s more detail in the article, but the gist of it is that according to this article Walmart asks their suppliers to locate next to them and they have assumed control of regional planning through process and capital so that they control what gets developed. It sounds like Canoo does not get into Bentonville unless they were explicitly invited…