PROSPER — On Wednesday, Jan. 24, the Town of Prosper held the grand opening of their newest business addition — the town’s first Walmart Supercenter. The celebration included a ribbon-cutting and a welcome speech by Mayor Ray Smith. Additionally, there was a Big Family Welcome celebration on the following Saturday, which included free samples and product giveaways for the community.

Located just off Highway 380 in the new Gates of Prosper development, the grand opening marked a new beginning for the growth of the town. Because of such recent growth, Walmart store manager Matt Rehm said Prosper was an ideal place to expand the business.

“There is so much growth happening in the town and it is exciting to be on the front side of that so we can be ready for the residents that are continually moving in,” Rehm said. “The biggest reason has to be that we wanted to give the people of Prosper a local place to shop without having to go to Frisco or McKinney locations.”

Although it isn’t the first convenience store available to the citizens of Prosper, City Manager Harlan Jefferson said he believes that Walmart will be a wonderful opportunity to help the community cater to that growth.

“The convenience of having a retailer with such a vast array of products and services, often at costs lower than competitors, is a boon to residents,” Jefferson said. “We expect Walmart to become very active in the community life of our town.”

“The town depends on several sources for revenue to fund such important services as fire and police protection, parks and recreation areas, and many other amenities,” he added. “Part of the budget to pay for those services comes from the sales tax that commercial partners collect. That’s an important part of why we are always open to welcoming businesses like Walmart into town.”

In the midst of the opening, Rehm and that his staff is ready and willing to assist customers with whatever needs they may have.

“I have been with Walmart for 21 years, and this store has the best group of associates that I have ever worked with,” Rehm said. “They are all truly excited to help the customers.”

But aside from providing Prosper with groceries and general home needs, Jefferson said it gives families the chance to live a better life by creating new jobs for citizens.

“Part-time and full-time jobs can make a big difference to a family, whether to meet their household budget or to be able to afford a nice vacation,” he said.

Jefferson said the Prosper location also plans to help within the school district by providing funding for scholarships, which is especially important given that Prosper ISD will be moving up to 6A, as announced on Feb. 1. They will also provide community outreach through volunteer work and donations.

Since it’s opening a week ago, Rehm said business has been booming, and he looks forward to seeing how the location can further help the Town of Prosper.

“I would like to say thank you to the Town of Prosper, and the customers that have welcomed us,” he added.

The Prosper Walmart is located at 500 Richland Blvd at the intersection of Preston Road and Highway 380.