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ECN CoverE and C Commissary News





Highlights of May 2013 Issue


IN THE NEWS:

 

Vollrath Confirmed As ASD R&FM

 

• WASHINGTON — On April 18, by a unanimous vote, the Senate confirmed Frederick E. Vollrath as assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management (ASD R&FM).

In this role, Vollrath is responsible for developing policies, providing advice, and making recommendations to the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness (USD P&R)Jessica Wright is the acting USD P&R — in the areas of civilian and military personnel policy, readiness of the force, and military community and family policy. Vollrath and Wright testified in mid-April at congressional hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee's Personnel Subcommittee on a series of matters affecting readiness and personnel. ...

 

Faulkner Appointed Chairman, DeCA BOD

 

• FORT LEE —  Marine Corps Lt. Gen. William M. Faulkner was named chairman of the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) board of directors by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. He succeeds Air Force Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, who was named chairman of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's (AAFES) board of directors in February (see E and C News 3/13). ...

 

With Oracle Deployed, VCS Realigns Departments, Staff

 

• ST. LOUIS — The Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) announced that with its Oracle Merchandise System now fully deployed, it has realigned a series of headquarters functions and reassigned personnel to take advantage of the new functionality the system provides.

“As we have completed our Oracle transformation, we must now move to our next phase of tweaking and gaining efficiencies the system offers, as well as adjust our operating structures to better complement our new processes,” said VCS Director Marilyn Iverson. “In this light, we made several staff adjustments that went into effect at the end of March.” ...

 

BREAKING NEWS: DeCA Explores 'Efficiency' Scenarios

 

As this issue went to press, Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph H. Jeu, SES, updated select commissary headquarters leadership and industry partners on the subject of efficiency savings scenarios requested by the Department of Defense (DoD). ...

 

DeCA Opens Feature-Rich Commissary at NNSY Portsmouth

 

• PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Chock full of patron-friendly features, the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) new Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) Scott Center Annex Commissary commenced operations on May 10.

The former commissary was closed May 9 in order to accommodate the transition to the new $13.5 million full-service grocery store. “Since it's just a block away, our customers have seen it being built over the past year,” said Store Director Doug Buntley. “It really looks nice from the outside, but I tell customers that the outside is just a hint of how much better their shopping experience is about to become.” ...

 

NSA Philadelphia Mini-Mart Opening: Adapt and Overcome

 

After a six-week renovation that started Jan. 14 requiring the store staff to relocate store operations and all merchandise to a temporary area in the back rooms, on March 18, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) opened the newly renovated NSA Philadelphia, Pa., Mini-Mart.

Throughout the project, there was a resolve to continue Mini-Mart operations in spite of the remodeling activities. According to NSA Philadelphia General Manager Jenny Hamby, “My team and I were not going to close the store for this renovation. We have received an overwhelming amount of support from the base. We adapted and overcame objections to take care of our customers.” ...

 

Read more IN THE NEWS ...

NEXCOM INTERVIEW: Satisfied Patrons, Valued Benefit

NEXCOM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.)

With customer satisfaction at an alltime high, it's clear that Navy family patrons value their benefit more than ever. On the institutional side of the coin, however, it's also evident that the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) enterprise is an increasingly integrated part of the Navy and Navy installations — from retail stores, gas stations and name-brand, quick-serve restaurants, to the Navy's Uniforms Program, textile research and Navy Lodges.

In this exclusive interview, NEXCOM Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Bianchi SC, USN (Ret.), reviews the fundamental connections among Navy servicemembers, their families and today's benefit, and how the exchange system is shaping the benefits NEXCOM delivers to be more agile and relevant in its service to patrons and base commanders. ...

“The past year was a very solid and productive one for the NEXCOM Enterprise. Our associates worked hard to deliver this important quality-of life benefit to our customers in our NEXs, Navy Lodges, Ships Stores, and uniform shops. In all areas, our continued work on PREMIER customer service has made a significant impact and is noticed and appreciated by our customers. We see that clearly in our surveys; our 2012 Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) survey rose two points to a record 85 for NEXs, while the Navy Lodge guest satisfaction rating remained at an all-time high of 95.”
— NEXCOM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.)

 

Read the complete ROBERT J. BIANCHI INTERVIEW ...

DeCA INTERVIEW: Strengthening An Already Strong Program

Chief, DeCA Promotions Branch Michelle Frost

Michelle Frost, chief of DeCA's Promotions Branch, understands the importance effective and well-executed promotions have on sales in Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) stores. Under her leadership, the Promotions team continues to create, implement, and partner with suppliers on a series of patron-friendly initiatives intended to stimulate sales across a variety of categories and programs.

Frost discussed these programs with E and C News, and affirmed that a cross commitment between her branch, and other DeCA areas, is necessary to achieve fiscal 2013 goals. ...

“We are continuing to review the promotion package to identify ways to streamline and strengthen the program. One of our undertakings, in collaboration with Store Operations and feedback from our store operators, and the Commissary Council promotions and category management subcommittees, is a plan to redesign the sales package, beginning in July with display period 13.

“The new plan will provide endcap groupings as a minimum requirement, and provide improved merchandising in the form of promoting 'solutions' versus just promoting items. We will be providing specific guidelines to the stores and to industry on the expectation and execution of the program. We believe this will make the package very simple for our stores to execute and will foster improved compliance levels.”

— Chief, DeCA Promotions Branch Michelle Frost

 

Read the complete MICHELLE FROST INTERVIEW ...

DeCA PETS: Nothing But the Best for Pets

 

Servicemembers and their families are willing to spend more these days to ensure their beloved pets are eating well, and in response to that, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has increased its assortment of premium brands and healthier choices.

“The 'humanization' of pets is still the latest trend shaping the pet world,” said DeCA Pet Category Buyer Linda Callery. “Pets are cherished members of the family, and pet owners feel specialized foods improve the quality and length of their pet's life, as it does for their own lives.”

Callery said customers expect meat to be in the first position and are rejecting fillers such as corn and by-products, artificial flavors and colors. ...

Read more DeCA PETS ...

AAFES Name Brand Fast Food (NBFF) —
New Directorate Focuses on What Patrons Want

 

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service's (AAFES) recently established Services Food Directorate — encompassing services, food, gasoline and movie theaters — is a brand-focused initiative designed to increase sales at AAFES restaurants in mall areas to drive customer traffic in all venues, including main strores.

According to Phil Story, the exchange service's director of Food Programs, the Name Brand Fast Food (NBFF) portion of the directorate's responsibilities had sales of $888 million in fiscal 2012, a 3.1-percent increase versus prior year sales of $861 million. Even with this success, Story told E and C News that fiscal 2013 looks to be a “challenging year” for the exchange service's NBFF portfolio “as we move forward into the uncertainty of commodity costs, stagnant sell prices and increasing competition for the 'value' dollar.”

Fast casual offers are moving down towards the pricing on the NBFF segment, which Story said serves to both increase choice as well as split the market share. ...

Read more AAFES NAME BRAND FAST FOOD (NBFF) ...

NEXCOM Name Brand Fast Food (NBFF) —
Record Sales, Profits Point to Strong 2013

 

The Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) fiscal 2012 foodservice program ended in early February with its third consecutive year of record sales and profits.

According to Mark Lipovsik, NEXCOM's foodservice development specialist, the exchange service's total food program sales were $269.7 million, and NEXCOM's total sales in its national branded fast food (NBFF) portfolio — excluding all non-branded operations — were $239.9 million.

NEXCOM's foodservice program experienced a sales increase of 5.41 percent during the fiscal year. ...

Read more NEXCOM NAME BRAND FAST FOOD (NBFF) ...

VCS CANDY: Focus on 'Healthier-For-You' Items Intensifies

 

In 2012, the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) began focusing in earnest on sugar-free items in PatriotStore assortments. This is part of an ongoing effort to offer healthier candy and snacks to its customers, a large segment of whom have medical conditions that require dietary restrictions, according to VCS Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM)/ Buyer Jerry Malone.

“We offered a broad assortment of sugar-free candies from Hershey's, Werther's GoLightly and Russell Stover,” Malone said. “This year we redefined this category, renaming it 'Healthier For You.' We've expanded the selection of sugar free and added candies that may have a broader appeal. Weight Watchers candies and Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate, Acai and other antioxidant berries will offer the customer a choice they can feel a little better about when they pick candy.” ...

Read more VCS CANDY ...

NEWSMAKERS:

 

Byrnes Joins Unilever as Regional Sales Manager, Military Team

 

• ENGLEWOOD, N.J. — Unilever announced the appointment of David Byrnes as a Regional Sales Manager for the Military Team, effective April 1. He will be based out of Richmond, Va.

Byrnes most recently served as Regional Sales Manager supporting the Supervalu business. Prior to that, he was the Customer Business Manager supporting the Albertsons business, and Category Management Manager supporting Fred Meyer. ...

Sakowitz Succeeds McAlister at Coca-Cola

• ATLANTA, Ga. — Former Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Director and Chief Executive Officer Philip E. Sakowitz Jr. was named to succeed Douglas B. McAlister as Vice President, National Retail Sales-Worldwide Military Customer Team/Federal Government at Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR). McAlister, a long-time resale executive, recently announced his retirement. ...

Budweiser Supports Armed Forces Through 'Folds of Honor' Foundation

 

• ST. LOUIS — For more than 150 years, Anheuser- Busch, its employees and family of wholesalers have supported the armed forces through numerous programs and philanthropic efforts.

One recent initiative is the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides educational scholarships and other assistance for the dependents of servicemembers killed or disabled in the line of duty. In 2013, Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser brand will again donate $1.5 million to this worthy cause. From May 5 to June 4, Budweiser will donate 2 cents for every case equivalent sold directly to the Folds of Honor Foundation. ...

TGD Names Reed National Retail Services Manager

 

• ABERDEEN, N.C. — Tactical Gear Distributors (TGD), a distributor of tactical gear and performance products for the military resale market, has announced the promotion of Pam Reed to the position of National Retail Services Manager.

In this role, Reed will lead all aspects of the Retail Services Department, including in-store merchandising and product demonstrations. She will also coordinate and run tactical sales and events, and work closely with store and division management to ensure proper fulfillment and placement of the brands TGD distributes and represents. ...

Military Resale Gives Maximum Support to HRALA Jerry Jared Gala

 

• NORFOLK — With many members of the military resale community in attendance, the annual Jerry Jared Scholarship Fundraising Gala, hosted by the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Logistics Association (HRALA), was a major success.

The April 2 event, held at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, honored the memory of the late Ollie Bates III, a military resale sales and marketing luminary, former Navy captain, and six-term president of the ALA Hampton Roads chapter, who passed away in November. ...

Red Bull Exclusive 'Camo Cans' Benefit Military Warriors Support Foundation

 

• SANTA MONICA, Calif. — From Memorial Day, May 27, to Labor Day, Sept. 2, Red Bull Energy Drink will be delivering “wings” via camouflage cans available for purchase exclusively through military channels.

According to the company, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these cans will benefit the Military Warriors Support Foundation and its Homes4WoundedHeroes program, which awards 100-percent mortgage-free homes and three years of family and financial mentoring to combat-wounded heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan....

Read the complete NEWSMAKERS ...


Snapshot
RESALE SNAPSHOT — FEBRUARY 2013

 

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals