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THE CURRENT EDITORIAL COMMENT

 

A Different Opinion:
Will Cofer —
Girding For Tough Times


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ECN CoverE and C Commissary News





Highlights of September 2013 Issue


IN THE NEWS:

 

Hagel, Carter Outline Budget Scenarios As Furloughs End

 

• WASHINGTON — In a comprehensive assessment of the financial challenges facing the Department of Defense (DoD), Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel outlined a series of potential budget-cutting scenarios, including the possibility of “ending subsidies for defense commissaries.”...

During a House Armed Services Committee (HASC) hearing on the Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR), Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter testified that what he thought alarming about the SCMR findings was that, “under sequestration, even the most ambitious efficiencies and most draconian cuts to compensation and force structure would yield less than a third of what we would need to comply with the Budget Control Act [BCA] sequestration caps in the next several years — and thus would not shield the Department from making further deep cuts to readiness and training accounts of the kinds we are experiencing this year, as well as requiring disproportionately large cuts to investment accounts — acquisition and R&D contracts — that risk reducing our long-term technological superiority ”...

 

Wright Nominated For USD P&R, Williams Tapped as DASD MCFP

 

• WASHINGTON — On July 18, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Jessica L. (Garfola) Wright as the next under secretary of defense (USD) for Personnel and Readiness (P&R). ...

In a separate July announcement, Rosemary Freitas Williams was named Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Military Community and Family Policy (MCFP). ...

 

Exchanges' FY 2012 MWR Dividends Up 8 percent

 

Base morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs can look forward to sharing about $321 million in fiscal 2012 dividends from the military exchange systems and services. ...

 

Archileti Appointed SES, to Lead DeCA Infrastructure Group, Burns Named CPO

 

• FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced that Vicki Archileti was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) and named executive director of the agency's Infrastructure Support Group. Formerly the agency's chief performance officer (CPO), she was succeeded by Christopher T. Burns, who was previously DeCA's sales director. ...

 

ARCHILETI

Before her CPO experience, Archileti served from 2004 through October 2012 as director of what was then DeCA's Corporate Planning Directorate, renamed Strategic Planning in 2011. As planning director, she led the creation of the agency's governance process and championed deployment of the agency's Lean Six Sigma program.

 

BURNS

Burns had served as the agency's sales director since Jan. 17, 2010. Before that, he was the deputy director, CONUS, in the former DeCA West Region, coming to the region from DeCA East, where he had served as director of operations. ...

 

Chandler, Russ to Head Revamped Sales Directorate

 

• FORT LEE — On July 14, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) provisionally implemented an “enhanced category management organizational model” within its headquarters-based Sales Directorate (SD) that included naming Randall L. Chandler as its new director of sales, and Tracie Russ as Chandler's deputy, and reassigning roles for several long-time executives. ...

Poore Takes AFPC Command

 

• RANDOLPH AFB, JB SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Maj. Gen. Peggy Poore, USAF, took command of the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) during an Aug. 1 change of command ceremony here. ...

“It's a distinct honor and privilege to join the AFPC community,” Poore said. “I am eager to work by your side as we build upon the foundation laid by the great men and women who came before us, and am honored to continue the legacy of AFPC.” ...

 

Exchange Fiscal 2012 Dividends Deliver $321 Million to MWR

 

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), the Marine Corps Semper Fit and Exchange Services (MR) Division, which oversees the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX), and the Coast Guard Exchange (CGX), recently announced their respective fiscal 2012 contributions to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs, providing much-needed funding to these entities which operate such programs as child development centers and fitness centers. ...

 

Read more IN THE NEWS ...

'In Memory of Murry Greenwald':
Scholarship Winners Celebrated at DeCA's Mitchel Field Store

 

• NS MITCHEL FIELD, N.Y. — There are few things more gratifying than seeing the joyful glow on people's faces — parents and students, store staff and sponsors — during the awarding of scholarships to deserving students about to set off to college.

In the friendly confines of the commissary meeting room here, during a smile filled ceremony Store Director Patricia Ward presented Danielle Domini and Lauren Klose each a $1,500 Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)-Fisher House scholarship from PepsiCo Inc., and gift bags “In Memory of Murry Greenwald,” the late Publisher of E and C News. ...

Read more IN MEMORY OF MURRY GREENWALD ...

MCX INTERVIEW: 'Focused on Our Mission'

Semper Fit and Exchange Services Division Deputy Director, Business Operations
and Chief Operating Officer, Cindy Whitman Lacy

In the past decade, the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) has transformed from what Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Deputy Director Cindy Whitman Lacy described as “small, decentralized operations” into an enterprise that is more than the sum of its parts.

Now, as the organization transitions through a new phase of change, Whitman Lacy opens the book on MCX's reimagining of its customer-facing operations, and the quantum-leap reconfiguration of its supply chain behind the scenes.

For MCX executives, business seems as exciting and expeditionary as the customers they serve. Patrons, meanwhile, marvel at how the MCX's rebranded and refreshed stores get it so “just right” for them. ...

'Our Main Store customer count has increased 64 percent since 2006, while our average transaction has increased 61 percent.'
— Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Director, Business Operations, Semper Fit and Exchange Services Division Cindy Whitman Lacy

 

Read the complete FOCUSED ON OUR MISSION ...

NEXCOM HOLIDAY ORDERING:
Navy Blue — The Heart and Soul of the NEX

 

By all accounts, the Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) Navy Blue holiday period in 2012 was smooth sailing, with sales increases exceeding expectations and patrons enjoying the great savings and family-oriented spirit that permeated the six-week period.

In late June, as NEXCOM intensified its preparations for the holiday shopping period, NEXCOM Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Merchandising Officer (CMO) Tess Paquette discussed the plans and preparations that are already underway for this year's Navy Blue Holiday stretch.

'Last year, we underwent a “sea change” in our approach to the back third holiday selling season. Many of the tactics were new to the organization and our vendor community. This year, we will be going BIGGER with Navy Blue and we are so excited about it.'
— NEXCOM Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Tess Paquette

 

Read more NAVY BLUE — The Heart and Soul of the NEX ...

MCX HOLIDAY ORDERING:
Planning Forward For a Successful 2013 Holiday Season

 

With total Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) sales for the 2012 holiday selling season up $90 million, or 8.3 percent from prior year, the exchange service will face some challenging comparisons for the fiscal 2013 holiday season.

Anita Roberson, Branch Head, Merchandising, for the Semper Fit and Exchange Services Division, said that the exchange service had been “cautiously optimistic” prior to the season, and this approach paid off — Hardlines grew sales 7.7 percent, Consumables increased 5.3 percent, and Softlines was up 13.3 percent.

Last year''s success was even more remarkable since they came “up against the very successful grand openings in 2011 ... and 2012, including MCB Camp Pendleton, Calif., in May, which exceeded all expectations.” ...

 

Read more PLANNING FORWARD FOR A SUCCESSFUL 2013 HOLIDAY SEASON ...

DeCA HOLIDAY BUYING: Promotions Power Holiday Activity

 

Preparations for the end-of-the-year holidays, in particular promotional packages, are in full swing at Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) locations, and, although the Sales Directorate is in the throes of a comprehensive reconfiguration, its promotions personnel are highly focused on putting together a blockbuster program to help servicemembers enjoy the season's festivities without breaking their budgets. ...

'Our goal is to have a substantial increase in commissary sales for the holiday season this year over last year. Our seasonal packages have enjoyed excellent sales growth in the past, and we fully expect them to have another successful season.'
— DeCA Beverages Manager Michelle Frost

 

Read more PROMOTIONS POWER HOLIDAY ACTIVITY ...

DeCA STORE DIRECTOR INTERVIEW:
Building 'Healthy' Customer Loyalty and Repeat Business

 

Yuma, Ariz., has the distinction of being the sunniest year-round place in the U.S., with an annual average of 4,133 hours of sunshine. It is also one of the hottest, with average daytime highs in July rising to 107 degrees.

As MCAS Yuma's store director, Carl Schwetz fully understands the effects high heat and desert conditions have on his patrons, which is a main reason why this commissary sells beverages of all types and brands. ...

'We are listening to our customers to find the right stock selection to meet their changing wants and needs. An example of this is the increased number of healthful products on the market we are stocking.'
— MCAS Yuma, Ariz., Commissary Store Director, Carl Schwetz

 

Read more BUILDING 'HEALTHY' CUSTOMER LOYALTY AND REPEAT BUSINESS ...

AAFES ENERGY DRINKS: 'Still Room for GROWTH'

 

Energy drinks continue to command a greater shelf presence at Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores, now accounting for nearly one-third of total non-alcoholic beverage category sales.

Vicki Venables, senior buyer of non-alcoholic beverages in the exchange service's headquarters based Sales Directorate (SD), told E and C News that “The energy drink segment represented 30 percent of the Exchange's total non-alcoholic beverage sales, up from 28 percent during prior year.” ...

'The energy drink brands continue to introduce new and innovative products to keep the customers excited about the category, and there is still room for growth.'
— AAFES Senior Buyer, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Vicki Venables

 

Read more 'STILL ROOM FOR GROWTH' ...

AAFES EXPRESS STORES: Refreshing Schedule on Express Track

 

The Army & Air Force Exchange (AAFES) has been in the midst of refreshing its approximately 350 Express stores, according to Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM) David Arens, who noted that all Express stores feature updated exterior signage to reflect the refreshed brand. “The interior is updated as part of the regular capital improvement process,” Arens said.

 

AAFES Names Headquarters, Region and Store Execs

 

• DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) announced a series of appointments at headquarters and in the field. ...

 

Read more AAFES EXPRESS STORES UPDATES ...

AAFES VITAMINS, SUPPLEMENTS, ENERGY PRODUCTS:
Sales Continue to Power Up

 

Led by double-digit growth in vitamins, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) continues to enjoy brisk sales activity in its vitamins, supplements and energy shots subcategories.

According to Sales Directorate (SD) Health and Beauty Care (HBC) Buyer Lisa Lamers, the dollar volume for vitamins and supplements during fiscal 2012 was $12.8 million, including $6.8 million in energy shots. Fiscal 2013 has continued that positive movement. ...

'The trends driving [vitamin and supplement] sales in the Exchange include new users entering the category, successful new item introductions, positive press and continued growth of more established segments like fish oil, probiotics and vitamin D.'
— AAFES Sales Directorate (SD) Health and Beauty Care Buyer Lisa Lamers

 

Read more SALES CONTINUE TO POWER UP...

MCX FOOD OPERATIONS INTERVIEW:
Convenience, Choices Keep Patrons Coming Back

Russ Chaby, Director of Food, Hospitality and Services, MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, Calif.

 

A convenient location and generous array of food options is proving a winning formula for the Marine Corps Exchange's (MCX) MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, Calif., Food Court, where its proximity to the main exchange, and its desert locale, make it a primary destination for patrons.

“Due to the fact that the food court is located inside the main exchange, many of our customers are shared patrons,” said Russ Chaby, director of Food, Hospitality and Services, MCCS Twentynine Palms, Calif. “This provides ease and options to customers whether they come to shop or eat. MCAGCC is in a rural location, so patrons appreciate offerings that are not available anywhere near base, and brand names such as Starbucks and Jamba Juice are draws of their own and support the Exchange.” ...

Read more CONVENIENCE, CHOICES KEEP PATRONS COMING BACK ...

Snapshot
RESALE SNAPSHOT — June 2013

 

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals