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When the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, looked to expand their operations in the Greater Houston region, they called on Pierpont for support. From the initial construction phase to grand opening, Pierpont’s Public Affairs team has supported Walmart with a unique, strategic and proactive approach to addressing Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) issues, stakeholder engagement and community relations.
From growing communities to rural areas with limited access to fresh produce and affordable groceries, the Greater Houston market has become a market share opportunity for Walmart. Walmart engaged Pierpont to manage public affairs and public relations around the permitting, building and construction of each store. But, with each construction project having its unique challenges, Pierpont took it to the next level.
Pierpont developed individualized communications plans for each store that involved meeting with elected officials and department heads in order to facilitate local permitting procedures and included a micro-level community strategy that engaged residents to make sure they were fully informed.
Pierpont took a very proactive approach by meeting with elected officials before any project was publicly announced; maintained contact during the construction phase to address the community’s concerns, particularly as it related to fencing, walkability, infrastructure improvements and civic engagement; and revisited with stakeholders after the project was complete to address any remaining issues – even discussing the types of products the community wanted sold at their store.
Our proactive and micro-level community minded approach has allowed Walmart to grow its market share and maintain a strong reputation of a good corporate citizen.