Store 2198 in Bloomington, Minnesota, sits in the metro Minneapolis area, right down the street from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. The Supercenter is a long way from Afghanistan—nearly 7,000 miles—yet it is now home to many associates originally from the country, many of whom once served alongside the U.S. military.
How did Afghan refugees wind up in Bloomington? Former store manager Brian Kinsey, who recently moved to Store 3364 in St. Paul, explains that Richfield, a nearby suburb, has an Afghan refugee center. Brian says an employee at the center suggested the refugees might make good associates for Walmart.
“We started with one or two, and then the word spread that we were a good place to work for,” Brian shares. “We brought a few associates in on overnights and then a few more showed up and a few more showed up and now pretty much the majority of the overnight and the Stocking 2 team are Afghan refugees.”
Today, about 30 associates at the Supercenter are originally from Afghanistan.