UL opens ‘transformative’ retail testing lab in Arkansas

Testing and certification company UL Solutions has opened a new 100,000-square-foot testing lab for retail and consumer products testing in Arkansas.

US Representative Steve Womack (center left) and UL Solutions CEO Jennifer Scanlon open the new Arkansas lab. Picture: UL Solutions

The Retail Center of Excellence is located in Lowell, 12 miles south of Bentonville, in northwestern Arkansas.

UL said it was the company’s largest investment in the retail and consumer products sector, calling it “one of the most advanced testing laboratories in the United States serving North American retail industry customers.”

The facility includes a consumer product testing laboratory and a technical support center. It also features a Product Experience Center for studying consumer insights prior to production. Initially announced in July 2023, the facility was specially designed to enable testing and technical support services for private-label products.

“We are thrilled to be part of Arkansas’ innovation ecosystem, where we sit side by side with the world’s top retail companies,” said Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO of UL Solutions. “Our investment in this transformative Retail Center of Excellence underscores our commitment to helping our customers bring successful new products to market quicker than ever.”

UL said the center will help retailers under pressure to support multiple sales channels and accelerate product life cycles by providing more dynamic and data-driven approaches to quality, performance, sustainability and safety, and by shifting quality assurance investments earlier in product development to enable speed to market.

The new facility, which will replace an existing hardlines laboratory in Rogers, Arkansas, will also serve as the headquarters of UL Solutions’ global network of high-tech retail and consumer products laboratories.

According to UL, the new center provides the company with one of the largest US-based laboratory footprints in retail product testing.

“UL Solutions’ investment in Arkansas’ Third District demonstrates that the hard work to grow the region’s economy is paying off,” said local US Congressman Steve Womack. “UL Solutions’ Retail Center of Excellence will test consumer goods that will boost product innovation and empower retailers to put safer goods in the hands of consumers worldwide.

“Lowell is now home to this world-class facility thanks to our strong business environment and workforce. Thank you to UL Solutions for investing in our people and expanding economic opportunity.”