The Houston Walmart Supercenter has won its first-ever Regional Store of the Year award, beating 115 Missouri sites with a community-first mentality.

Walmart honors great stores each year based on financial indicators, online order fulfillment, item handling, and community participation, among other factors.

Travis Rector, the Houston Walmart manager, has worked in a variety of areas during his career, including Texas and Oklahoma. Nonetheless, he has found Houston to be the most community-oriented.

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He said: “It’s not just about what our associates did, it’s about what our community did. That’s one thing I’ll say about Houston is that we have a small community, but we all work together.”

“Without this relationship to our community, getting through the tough times of the pandemic wouldn’t be possible.”

Store staff and management alike complimented the Children’s Miracle Network and their Shop with a Hero program for their achievement as part of their community-first initiatives

Shop with a Hero is a program that raises resources to aid children in need and then gives them the occasion to go shopping with local heroes. In 2021, the program raised $24,400 and was able to help 244 children have a better Christmas.

Bennie Cook, the program organizer, said:“Each year this program raises more funds to help children in need and we appreciate everyone who donated this year. This program would not exist if it were not for the generosity of so many people in Texas County.”

At the forefront of these efforts was Jacob Butherus, who was named the Top Volunteer Associate of the Year for the region.

Butherus, a local employee said: “The Children’s Miracle Network helps families and children with medical expenses. With the help of CoxHealth, we’re able to raise money that stays local to help children in our community,”

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In addition to being named regional store of the year, the Houston Walmart received a traveling trophy for increasing donations by 130 percent from 2020 to 2021. This all happened during the epidemic, demonstrating the community’s and store’s concern.

Although she was not in attendance at the celebration, Sheila Walker, the only remaining employee from when the location opened in 1977, has been a large part of the store’s success.

Walker began working for Walmart at the age of 17 when the company opened its first location in Houston on the east side of U.S. 63 (in a building now occupied by Orscheln Farm and Home.

Assistant manager Darrell Pounds said: “There is nobody who has been a bigger part of creating the culture and community connection that we have here than Sheila”.

“Certainly, our $52 million in sales, excellent customer service, and ability to adapt to adversity helped Store 166 receive this recognition.

“Even so, it’s our focus on community that has separated us from the pack.”

Source: Houstonherald

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