July 24, 2023
NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS – July 24, 2023 — UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, announced today that it is planning to open its new Retail Center of Excellence in Lowell, Arkansas, in December 2023, a state-of-the-art testing laboratory that will help retailers with product safety and sustainability needs. Located 12 miles south of Bentonville, the facility will be one of the most advanced laboratories serving North American retail industry customers, providing services addressing retail and consumer product quality, performance, safety and sustainability.
The new purpose-built laboratory and technical center will also support services that help drive the innovation of private-label products, bringing quality to the forefront of the design process and placing valuable consumer insights at the center of quality assurance programs.
“Innovating and working closely with our customers is core to UL Solutions’ mission of working for a safer world, “ said Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO of UL Solutions Inc. “We are experts in safety science and our investment in this transformative Retail Center of Excellence underscores our commitment to help ensure new products and technologies used by consumers are safe and sustainable as they come to market more quickly than ever.”
The new facility combines expanded local laboratory and technical support capabilities in a single location integrated with our global safety science network to deepen strategic relationships with the world’s largest retailers.
The new 100,000-square-foot facility will replace an existing hardlines laboratory in Rogers, Arkansas, with a purpose-built facility to enable speed, scale, flexibility and additional capacity. The new laboratory will also expand capabilities in strategic areas across general merchandise categories, including packaging, furniture, electrical and electronics, sporting goods, reliability and chemistry, with space for future expansion. The facility will offer tear-down services that break down product components to assess points of failure.
The UL Solutions Retail Center of Excellence will also feature the Product Experience Center. This consumer study area will help retailers, brands, and their supply chain partners gain valuable insights on product performance, assembly, instructions and usability to identify potential issues before production, helping customers avoid risk and improve consumer perceptions.
Within this facility, UL Solutions subject matter experts will help navigate through customer challenges and bring safety, sustainability, quality and performance to the forefront of the product development process. The facility will contain collaboration space for meetings, seminars and events to educate retail stakeholders on quality assurance processes and to address industry challenges.
“The Retail Center of Excellence is a result of listening to the needs of the industry through conversations with major retailers, consumer product brands and their supply chain partners,” said Josh Warren, vice president and general manager of the Retail and Consumer Products Group at UL Solutions. “Consumer expectations, supply chains, technology, sustainability requirements and product lifecycles are all rapidly changing, which require an evolution of quality and compliance programs. Providing design stage support services and listening to end-consumers is critical to enabling speed to market, collaboratively solving challenges, and sharing effective practices.”
The Retail Center of Excellence represents the largest retail-focused initiative in UL Solutions’ history and complements the expanding global network of the company’s capabilities. Combined with UL Solutions’ existing 60,000-square-foot Softlines and Textiles Laboratory in Bentonville, Arkansas, UL Solutions will have one of the largest U.S.-based laboratory footprints in retail product testing.
Learn more about the expertise UL Solutions brings to the retail marketplace on our General Merchandise page.
About UL Solutions
A global leader in applied safety science, UL Solutions transforms safety, security and sustainability challenges into opportunities for customers in more than 100 countries. UL Solutions delivers testing, inspection and certification services, together with software products and advisory offerings, that support our customers’ product innovation and business growth. The UL Certification Marks serve as a recognized symbol of trust in our customers’ products and reflect an unwavering commitment to advancing our safety mission. We help our customers innovate, launch new products and services, navigate global markets and complex supply chains, and grow sustainably and responsibly into the future. Our science is your advantage.
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