Global applied safety science company UL Solutions has opened its new Retail Center of Excellence in Lowell, Arkansas, US.  

The facility represents the company’s largest investment in the retail and consumer products sector, aiming to assist customers in fulfilling requirements related to product safety, quality, performance and sustainability. 

Located 12 miles south of Bentonville, the 100,000ft² advanced testing laboratory will focus on serving retail industry customers in North America. Plans for the facility were first announced in July 2023. 

The facility features a consumer product testing laboratory, a technical support centre and the Product Experience Center, which is among the first in retail testing to study consumer insights before production. 

The Retail Center of Excellence was created specifically for private-label product testing and technical support services. 

It replaces an existing hardlines laboratory in Rogers, Arkansas, and expands local laboratory and technical support capabilities.  

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It also serves as the headquarters for UL Solutions’ global network of high-tech retail and consumer products laboratories, which includes a 60,000ft² softlines laboratory in Bentonville. 

The facility includes space for future expansion and additional capabilities. 

UL Solutions retail and consumer products vice-president and general manager Josh Warren said: “The Retail Center of Excellence is a result of understanding the needs of the industry through data and ongoing collaboration with major retailers, consumer product brands and their supply chain partners.  

“Inside 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.”