DeCA Funding Cuts Blunted,
Tobacco and Merchandise Rules
Change with 2015 NDAA
WASHINGTON — On its way to the White House
for President Obama’s signature
at press time, the version
of the “Carl Levin and Howard P.
‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA) for
Fiscal Year 2015” which emerged
out of conference between House
Armed Service Committee
(HASC) and Senate Armed Services
Committee (SASC) negotiators
in early December, could
leave the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and the Army & Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES) digging deep once again to find efficiencies to
compensate for proposed measures that would scale back commissary benefit
funding and impact Exchange earnings on tobacco. ...
Familiar Yet Evolving Challenges Await SECDEF Nominee Carter
WASHINGTON — On Dec. 5, just days after President Barack Obama’s Nov. 24 announcement that Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defense since early 2013, would leave his post, Dr. Ashton Carter — the deputy secretary of defense from October 2011 to December 2013 — was chosen by the President as Hagel’ s successor, pending confirmation hearings on his candidacy to be held early in 2015. ...
Reignited Commissary Value Brand Program Makes Long-Awaited ‘Store Brand’ Splash
FORT LEE — Debate in Congress, and widespread misunderstanding of commissary value product programs and options, gave the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) something of a migraine in 2014, and a headache for which Adm. James Winnefeld, USN, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was unable to find any “private label” relief on commissary shelves.
While commissary advocates were quick to point out that Winnefeld’ s shopping visit overlooked a value brand of ibuprofen, GoodSense, sold at a lower price in commissaries than commercial supermarket store labels, the message surrounding the store brand and private label debate was not lost on DeCA. The agency rapidly rekindled the fire under its value brand program, and reengineered its moving parts, ahead of National Defense Authorization Act provisions which, if signed by the President, would give DeCA the legal leeway necessary to sell its own store brands, all with the assumption that it would find it necessary and cost-effective to do so. ...
Wright Resigns as USD (P&R)
WASHINGTON — On Dec. 4, Jessica Wright, under secretary of defense (USD) for Personnel and Readiness (P&R), tendered her resignation from this position — a key post with oversight of commissaries and exchanges — following the departure of her boss, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who resigned on Nov. 24.
According to reports, Wright submitted her letter
of resignation to President Obama and Hagel, and
did so just one day before the President nominated
Ashton Carter to succeed Hagel. ...
Military Veterans In Congress
Following the most recent mid-term elections,
17 new Congressional members bring a record
of military service with them to Capitol
Hill, joining 84 others. ...
HASC Names Thornberry Chairman
WASHINGTON — On Dec. 2, Rep. William McClellan “Mac” Thornberry (R-Texas) was chosen to chair the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) for the 114th Congress. Thornberry, the first Texan ever selected to lead the committee, succeeds the retiring Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) as the committee’ s chairman. ...
DeCA Case-Lot Sales Reassert Savings Benefits
FORT LEE — Just ahead of the Defense Commissary Agency’s (DeCA) fall series of case-lot sales, Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph Jeu addressed the importance of the agency’ s re-emergent case-lot sales program with DeCA employees via the agency’ s employee Intranet. Now, the results are in, and although the cancellation of last year’ s events due to budget cuts and changes in reporting seem to muddy direct comparisons with the results of sales from years gone by, the most recent series of case-lot events were a welcome shot in the arm for customer savings and agency sales.
All told, DeCA customer purchases generated $55.35 million on the days of the case-lot sales events, 18.99 percent better than year-ago store sales of $46.51 million when no case-lot sales were held. The $8.85 million delta was spurred by nearly $7 million in sales of case-lot sale merchandise. ...
AAFES’s Carroll to Direct Global Sourcing as MD DMMs Shift
DALLAS — Among a series of executive changes slated for the spring 2015 time frame, the Exchange has announced that Arthur Carroll, who was the Hardlines divisional merchandise manager (DMM) in the Merchandising Directorate’s (MD) Pacific Buying Office, will be moving Stateside in April 2015 as the Exchange’ s director of Global Sourcing. He succeeds Natalie Rowland, who, in turn, replaces Carroll as DMM, Hardlines, in the Pacific Buying Office, effective in March 2015. ...
New Members of Congress Add Service Experience to Hill
WASHINGTON — Although the 114th Congress does not convene until January, the heightened expectations upon this newest class of legislators already started to build before they took their seats.
With the most recent mid-term elections, 17 new members are likely to join the new Congress, pending the results of runoffs and undecided races, and among them are several who bring with them a record of military service, including Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve.
They join a Congress that maintains a connection with the military, as among them are a total of 101 members who have served or are currently serving in the military — the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard — or in each respective service’ s National Guard or reserve. ...
A Snapshot of DeCA results, including top stores by area, sales by area, top 10 commissaries by sales volume and more.
Read more DEFENSE COMMISSARY AGENCY FISCAL 2014 SALES STATISTICS SNAPSHOT ...
As the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) entered its fiscal 2014 stretch run, it was unclear to what extent the wines and spirits categories had been impacted by alcohol deglamorization and other restrictions placed on display and sale of its alcoholic beverage assortments, in particular in Mini-Marts. Nevertheless, spirits and wine continued to generate significant sales and foot traffic for the exchange service, albeit at lower unit volumes.
“All locations are affected by last year’ s deglamorization efforts, and are on bases which did have locations from which we did exit either spirits or wine and spirits,” said Debbie Scher, NEXCOM wine and spirits category buyer. “While we can see that some of the traffic has transitioned to the main selling location for the base, we cannot be certain how much we may have lost as a result of category reductions.” It is also unknown to what extent diminished tobacco sales have affected other categories. ...
In May, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced that James Taylor had joined its Sales Directorate roster as the category manager responsible for pet and household items.
Taylor served with the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) for the previous six years, most recently as a business services specialist. Moving from an exchange position to a commissary position is somewhat unique, and Taylor said that while “there are many similarities when comparing this role to my prior role, the mission is the same — serving those who serve — but now, it’s across all military services.”
Working with his category teammate — Merchandising Specialist Janet Berry — has helped in this transition. Through early October, the Pet Team consisted of Taylor and Berry, with a business analyst reportedly being added to the team at a later date.
“Janet Berry and I continuously work together as a team, offering our commissary patrons recognizable, branded pet products, at the lowest prices possible.” ...