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Brandon Coan

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Jasmine Weatherby
Legislative Aide

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Tel: 574-1108

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Welcome: HQ2, Too

The Kentucky Derby always makes me think about Louisville’s place in the cultural zeitgeist and global economy.  Last year, in this space, I made the case for doubling down on Derbyism as Louisville’s brand identity.  This year, I’d like to suggest a new, singular economic development goal:

Win Walmart HQ2. 

Now (so far as I know), Walmart is not actively searching for a second headquarters (yet).  In fact, the company is building a new corporate campus in its hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas.  It hasn’t announced any plans for a tournament of cities, 50,000 jobs or $5 billion in new construction.

However, Walmart is Amazon’s only true competitor in global business.  HQ2 is an innovation.  Walmart will adopt it.  The only variable is time.  Louisville has an opportunity to jump the light.

If Walmart acquires Humana, it would be the largest deal in the company's history and nearly double the size of its “Home Office” workforce.  Consumer health care is a major growth area for Walmart.  Louisville would be a fertile outpost for making other forays into the industry.

Moreover, Walmart is fighting for its life in the e-commerce space.  Louisville would provide direct access to UPS Worldport and a robust logistics and distribution ecosystem.  Amazon already has a Prime Air hub in Northern Kentucky.  All the amenities we offered in our HQ2 bid would be more appealing to Walmart.

There is also something to be said for cultural fit.  Arkansas and Kentucky are both red states and have 21c Museum Hotels! 

As a local independent business lover, I have always had an aversion to big-box stores.  However, the benefits of having office jobs of companies like Walmart, Amazon or Humana in your community are undeniable (including the customers their employees provide for small business).  Walmart is the world’s largest company.  Amazon HQ2 might be the most coveted prize in economic development today but Walmart HQ2 is coming – and Humana might be going – so we should get going on tomorrow, too.


For breaking news and information, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  If you have a question or comment, please call me at: (502) 574-1108 or email: brandon.coan@louisvilleky.gov (and copy jasmine.weatherby@louisvilleky.gov).  If you have a service request, please call MetroCall at: 311 or visit MetroCall 311 online.  Visit the District 8 Strategic Plan page here.