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Highlights of the November 2014 Issue

 

NEWS:
DeCA, AAFES Open Long-Awaited Commissary, Express Stores

 

• PITTSBURGH, Pa. — On Oct. 21, the long-awaited 43,000-square-foot Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) commissary and 10,741-square-foot Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Express officially opened for business. These openings ushered in a new era of service and support for approximately 168,000 Soldiers, Airmen, reservists, National Guard personnel, military retirees and their families in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and beyond, and also marked the culmination of years of work to bring updated retail facilities to the area.

The new Express and commissary effectively replace the former retail facilities at the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility, in nearby Oakdale, which was tagged for closure under the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). ...

Customers Speak: ‘Our Community Is Better Off’

 

COMMISSARY — “This is your commissary. This is your benefit,” DeCA Director & CEO Joseph H. Jeu told the gathering of more than 500 patrons during the 10 a.m. grand opening ceremony. “We are here to serve you. Have a great day and enjoy your commissary benefit.”

The new commissary, which was constructed using $15 million from commissary patrons’ 5-percent surcharge account, was designed to be much better suited to support a greater number of commissary-eligible patrons in the region.

With five regular checkouts and four self-checkouts, the new store is more than twice the size of the previous one, which was built in 1959, and has a larger stock assortment — 18,000 items — along with a delicatessen and bakery.

With high ceilings and wide aisles, the new energy-efficient and environment-friendly commissary is also designed to provide an up-to-date, pleasant shopping experience. “We’re entering a new era for the commissary benefit with our new store.”

The store is “Way different … . We waited two hours today for this to open; it was worth the wait. This store has all we need,” said customers, Spec. Manny Gines, ARNG, and his wife, Marta.

EXPRESS — “This day has been a long time coming, and it’s a thrill to finally make it official,” AAFES’s Ronny Rexrode, AAFES Eastern Region Vice President, told the first patrons to enter the new hybrid Express store, which was built using $4.3 million of nonappropriated funds from Exchange earnings.

The new Express houses a profoundly expanded assortment compared with a regular AAFES Express store. Among the store’s features are a Military Clothing (MC) section, an outdoor living section, and an electronics area, barber shop and Class Six store.

For Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Nicole Bochter of the 171st Air Refueling Wing, shopping at the Express means saving money on items for her young family. “I’m a frequent shopper, and we’ve waited for years for a store like this … You can’t beat the tax-free savings especially on electronics. Our community is better off for having this facility,” she said. ...

Paquette’s New Role Reflects NEXCOM Omni-Channel Focus

 

• VIRGINIA BEACH — Effective Oct. 1, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) promoted Tess Paquette from senior vice president (SVP), chief merchandising officer (CMO) to executive vice president (EVP), chief merchandising and marketing officer. The move echoes the recent expansion of NEXCOM’s retail strategy in a more omni-channel direction. ...

 

NEXCOM Breaks Ground for Hqs. Building Expansion

 

• VIRGINIA BEACH — On Oct. 21, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 33,000-square-foot addition to its headquarters building here. The project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2016.

“When NEXCOM moved into its headquarters building in 1993, we had 380 associates,” said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), NEXCOM’s chief executive officer (CEO). “Today, there are almost 1,000 NEXCOM associates in Hampton Roads and more than half work in our headquarters building.” ...

 

Fourth Quarter Jump Drives DeCA 2014 Sales

 

• FORT LEE — Buoyed by a resurgent fourth quarter, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) recorded sales of more than $5.6 billion during its recently concluded fiscal 2014. While the final fiscal year-end tally was around 4 percent less than the previous year, the results belied an increase in sales during the July through September period as case-lot sales resumed in CONUS, accompanied by a more than 3-percent increase in transactions.

With some sales trends headed back in a more positive direction, DeCA Director Joseph Jeu told members of industry at a recent annual conference with resale and industry executives that his sales goal for the agency for 2015 is $5.8 billion, and that his stretch goal is $6 billion — the agency’s most recent sales high-water mark last reached in 2012. ...

 

Hybki Recognized with ALA Lifetime Achievement Award

 

• WASHINGTON — Known for his unfailing sense of humor, perspicacity, and sense of honor, Robert C.“Bob” Hybki, who retired this past summer from ConAgra Foods as its vice president (VP), Customer Development, Military, was recognized for his long-standing dedication to protecting and enhancing servicemembers’ and families’ military resale benefits with the American Logistics Association’s (ALA) Lifetime Achievement Award during the association’s annual Awards Dinner, Oct. 29, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill here.

According to ALA President Patrick B. Nixon, the board of directors bestows the award on an individual “whose leadership and outstanding commitment to providing quality-of-life benefits for U.S. military personnel and their families has been nothing short of exemplary.”...

 

AAFES Opens Renovated Alabama Exchange

 

• REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) welcomed a modern era of shopping for military families here when the ribbon was cut Oct. 17 on a renovated Exchange, the store’s first remodel in 14 years. More than $5 million in improvements were made to the facility using earnings from AAFES patron purchases. The store, which recorded nearly $41 million in sales during fiscal 2013, now sports a fully updated look and category assortment both inside and out.

 

Commissary Coupon Redemptions Slip in Fiscal 2014

 

• WASHINGTON — During fiscal 2014, for the fourth fiscal year in a row, overall coupon redemptions and coupon total dollars redeemed fell in Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) stores.

The overall quantity of coupons patrons used during their commissary shopping visits dropped 10.48 percent to 89.16 million (see chart), only the second time since fiscal 2006 that this number has dropped below the 100-million mark.

Read more News ...


AAFES BOARD OF DIRECTORS INTERVIEW

THE EXCHANGE: Critical Mission Support

 

Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox, USAF, Exchange Board Chair

With a strong family connection to the military and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox has for the last 10 months been in the primary oversight role for the Exchange as its board chairman. He also serves as a member of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Board.

With a perspective unique to the Air Force’s chief personnel officer and also as a military brat in an Air Force and AAFES family, Cox spoke with E and C News in this exclusive interview, not only about the challenging course AAFES must navigate through the current waters of fiscal austerity, but also about the brighter possibilities that lie before it, the dedication of exchange personnel and the Exchange’s enduring connection with industry ...

E and C News: AAFES has a long and distinguished record of downrange support. As far as the Air Force and Army are concerned, where does the Exchange stand in importance to smooth and effective functioning of Army and Air Force operations around the world, in support of their professional military servicemembers?

Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox, USAF: You are right; the Exchange does have a distinguished record of supporting Soldiers and Airmen in contingency operations. They set up a store in Baghdad within days of the arrival of U.S. troops. The Exchange stayed to the end in Iraq. At its height, the Exchange operations in Iraq had more than 650 facilities, services and restaurants.

When military members deploy, the Exchange is with them. Today, the Exchange serves Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines throughout Afghanistan. Since 9/11, more than 4,300 Exchange associates have deployed. These are people who voluntarily leave the comfort of their own homes and families to provide for others. They are “family serving family,” and the services they provide are critical to our Armed Forces’ ability to fulfill their mission.

The Exchange has an important role for all our overseas bases. The Exchange is more than just the main store on base. The Exchange serves 4 million school lunches at overseas Department of Defense (DoD) schools, bakes 3 million loaves of American-style bread and bottles 5 million gallons of Culligan water. These services, along with American-branded restaurants, provide Soldiers and Airmen a taste of home. Wherever servicemembers and their families are called to serve, Exchange support is a part of the mission. As a result, Exchange operations are an important part of the recruitment, retention and equipping of the entire military community. ...

 

Read More LT. GEN. SAMUEL COX, USAF, EXCHANGE BOARD CHAIR INTERVIEW ...


ON COMMON GROUND:
NEX Uniform Center Opens in New MCX Henderson Hall Third Floor Addition

 

• JB MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. — The Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Army have found common ground — literally — as the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) partnered with Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) to sell Navy uniforms inside a Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) … on a joint base with the Army in Arlington, Va.

The grand opening of the new MCX Henderson Hall third floor retail store addition here, along with a new NEX Uniform Center, were the stars of the show, as approximately 120 servicemembers, officials and guests celebrated the opening of one of resale’s long-awaited projects serving patrons in the National Capital Region.

Among those participating in the grand opening of the new MCX Henderson Hall third floor retail store addition, and the new NEX Uniform Center, were Robert J. Bianchi, NEXCOM chief executive officer (CEO); then-Deputy Director Marine Corps NAF Business Services and Support Division (NAFBSSD) Cindy Whitman Lacy, who is now the division’s director; Col. Anthony S. Barnes, commanding officer (C.O.), Headquarters and Service (H&S) Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall; Roger G. Weger, MCCS Henderson Hall director; Michelle Cole, NEX Uniform Center manager; and Bette Stolarun, MCCS Henderson Hall retail director.

 

Read more NEX UNIFORM CENTER OPENS IN NEW MCX HENDERSON HALL THIRD FLOOR ADDITION ...

MCX BIG GAME
Thirst Building Up for Snack Bowl Sales

 

NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
“We believe that our Marines and their families enjoy the Super Bowl promotions, in particular at the locations that are able to create fun and interactive displays,” said MCX Non-Alcoholic Beverage Buyer Joe Cella.

Leading up to the 2015 contest, the MCX runs its annual Super Bowl Ad and Sale Event from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2.

“We are sharing an ad page with Food Buyer Ashley Davis that we are calling ‘Super Snack Bowl,’ featuring super pricing on snacks and drinks our Marines and their families can enjoy while watching the game,” Cella said. ...

‘Elastic Effect’ for 2015 Big Game

 

BEER
Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) Beer Buyer Rich Daniel related to E and C News that the MCX’s assortment experiences a good lift in beer sales to qualified patrons during the period leading up to the Big Game. “Like most major events and seasons, we see the traditional pick-up in business,” he noted. “”This is an event that has an elastic effect for a two-week period, consisting of the week prior to and the week of the Super Bowl.””

As of early October, Daniel said that the exchange was finalizing the details for the holiday season, and was currently “crafting the elements” for the January-to-March time frame, including the Big Game period in late January and early February.

“We will participate with all national and related regional sale pricing and promotions,” Daniel said. “Our endcaps and stack-outs will be reflective of the prioritized brands that are the most meaningful to our customers. We also ensure our partners can provide tastings as a part of our new-item launches and big-brand pushes during the period.”

 

Read more MCX BIG GAME ...


Snapshot
RESALE SNAPSHOT — AUGUST 2014

 

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals