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ADVANCE LOOK
JULY 2015 AAFES Q&A WITH TOM SHULL


Highlights of the June 2015 Issue

 

NEWS:
Senate Sets Privatization Study as NDAA Moves to Conference

 

• WASHINGTON — With its head-turning proposals for military resale — among them to test the privatization of the commissary system; to attempt to institute for-profit pricing as a way of funding commissary operations, and to pay for transportation costs and operating supplies out of servicemember surcharge dollars — the Senate Armed Services Committee's (SASC) version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2016, S. 1376, provoked a strong and immediate reaction from Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and a bipartisan cohort of influential Senate legislators, as well as vociferous protest from numerous Veteran Service Organizations (VSO). It also garnered opposition from the White House, in

As this issue went to press, as passage of the bill neared, the full Senate approved an amendment drafted by Inhofe and Mikulski replacing the privatization provision in section 652 of the SASC's 2016 NDAA with language that would require a feasibility study rather than a mandatory privatization plan and twoyear test in at least five commissaries in the largest markets in CONUS. ...

Former DeCA Director/CEO Joins DCMO as 'Qualified Expert')

 

• WASHINGTON — Former Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Philip E. Sakowitz Jr. has been selected to work as a part-time “qualified expert” in the office of Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO) Peter K. Levine, in an appointment that is slated to last for one year. ...

Leahy Appointed VCS COO

 

• ST. LOUIS — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently appointed James G. Leahy as the chief operating officer (COO) of the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). ...

DeCA Names Granado East Area Director

 

• FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) named Hector Granado as East Area director, effective May 31. Granado, who on April 5 became the Sales Directorate (SD) category manager responsible for Pet Food and Household Products, succeeded Herb Winchester, who became the agency's Zone 1 manager on May 3 (see E and C News 4/15, 5/15). ...

NEXCOM Opens Mini-Mart in Romania

 

• DEVESELU, Romania — On May 15, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced the opening of its newest Mini-Mart location. The 325-square-foot facility is open six days a week to serve the military stationed in Romania, and is expected to serve Sailors until the new 1,000-square-foot store opens this fall. ...

CGX Dividends Increase More Than 33 Percent in Fiscal 2014

 

• CHESAPEAKE — The Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) reported that its dividend for fiscal 2014 was $2.1 million, a more than 33-percent increase versus the $1.6 million in dividends it reported during fiscal 2013. CGX sales were $158.0 million during fiscal 2014, 0.2-percent below the prior year total. ...

AAFES Names Porter Ladieswear and Accessories PAR Manager

 

• DALLAS — The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) recently named Angie Porter as its Planning, Allocation and Replenishment (PAR) manager for ladieswear and accessories. Porter, formerly a merchandise and inventory planning manager responsible for numerous items in the ladieswear area, succeeded Mary Davich, who became the Exchange's senior global sourcing manager in March. Porter began her new position in May. ...

DeCA Contingency Plans Take Shape

 

• FORT LEE — From late last year into early 2015, product shortages hampered the availability of certain products within the assortments of numerous overseas commissaries run by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) (see E and C News 1/15). Situations such as port delays, computer glitches and other factors forced the agency to adjust contingency planning, allowing it to maintain what DeCA Sales Director Tracie Russ characterized as “a ready database of potential sources to utilize to acquire product rapidly when normal supply channels become hindered.” ...

AAFES Committed To Military Family Careers

 

• DALLAS — According to a March 2015 survey by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), military spouses who moved during the past 12 months have an unemployment rate of 20 percent, twice as high as those who have not relocated. Things are more challenging for transient military spouses with children, who suffer an unemployment rate of 30 percent.

With nearly 17 percent of approximately 35,000 AAFES associates identifying themselves as military spouses, the Exchange has long been committed to offering employment opportunities to servicemembers' “better halves.” ...

AAFES Recognized As 'Best for Vets' Employer

 

• DALLAS —The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) was selected to the “Best for
Vets” list of employers for 2015. The list recognizes employers’ commitment
to providing job opportunities to veterans. AAFES was ranked at No. 28 among
the top employers for veterans, three places higher than last year. ...

Read more NEWS ...

NEWSMAKERS:
NEXCOM, Industry Promotions Generate $250,000 for NMCRS

 

• VIRGINIA BEACH — On May 15, Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), chief executive officer (CEO) of the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), presented a ceremonial check to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) symbolizing the nearly $250,000 donated to NMCRS by NEX customers. Richard Dow, NEXCOM senior vice president (SVP), Store Operations, and Kathy Nelson, director, NMCRS Norfolk, Va., also participated in the donation ceremony. ...

MCX Employee Receives 'Spirit of Service' Award

 

• QUANTICO Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) employee Kimberly DuPriest was recognized on May 7 for her outstanding public service in support of childhood cancer research, when she was selected, with more than 30 other Department of Defense (DoD) employees, to receive the 2015 National Capital Area Public Service Recognition Week “Spirit of Service” award. ...

Mars/Wrigley and Advantage Sales Present DeCA with Donation for USO

 

• FORT LEE Mars Chocolate North America/The Wrigley Co. and Advantage Sales LLC recently presented the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) with a $10,000 donation check for the United Service Organizations (USO). ...

Read the complete NEWSMAKERS ...


NEXCOM/HOLIDAY BUYING GUIDE:
'Navy Blue' Program Sets Sights On Family, Fleet and Savings

 

With two years under its belt, sales events under the “Navy Blue Holiday” banner have begun to establish themselves as “can't miss” occasions in Navy patrons' minds, giving the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) more reasons to have a positive outlook on its 2015 holiday program. NEXCOM's General Merchandise Group team, led by acting chief merchandising officer (CMO) Gary King, is currently sharpening its focus to ensure that the fourth quarter is well positioned to be a strong one and the shopping experience seamless.

“Our outlook for the 2015 holiday season is positive, and we plan to stay focused on the basics of providing Navy sailors and their families quality goods at a savings,” King said. During the 2015 holiday season, a low price guarantee and “continued alignment with Navy core values, focused on family and fleet readiness, will remain at the center of our strategy.” ...

Read more NEXCOM/HOLIDAY BUYING GUIDE ...


AAFES MILITARY CLOTHING STORES (MCS)/TACTICAL
'Customer Service Is Our Number-One Goal'

 

Although the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Merchandising Directorate (MD) recently named a new divisional merchandise manager (DMM), Dan Koglin, with responsibility for Military Clothing Stores (MCS), the new team is focused on making this change as seamless as possible to its customers, continuing to put the focus on assortment and customer service.

Koglin succeeded former MCS DMM Ronald “J.R.” Chidester in March, after Chidester was appointed the exchange service's DMM for Health and Beauty Care (HBC). Although Koglin only recently moved to his new position from the AAFES Europe Buying Office, he noted that the most important priorities for the tactical and MC categories remain the same no matter who is in place as DMM.

“Customer service is our number-one goal,” he said. “Offering the best customer service possible to both internal and external customers is key to our business. The Exchange's customers are unique in the retail world, but even more so are the customers who are shopping their local or online MCS.” ...

Read more AAFES MILITARY CLOTHING STORES (MCS)/TACTICAL...


AAFES CLASS SIX: 'The BEST Possible Shopping Experience'

 

With nearly a combined $852 million in wine, beer, spirits, non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco accessories sales during fiscal 2014, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's (AAFES) Class Six operations have continued to be reliable stops for responsible adults looking for these products in their on-base military stores.

Bridget MacFawn, divisional merchandise manager (DMM) handling beverages and tobacco in the headquarters-based Merchandising Directorate (MD), said that proportionally, spirits led the way in sales of these items during fiscal 2014, with more than $290 million in volume, or about a 34 percent share of segment sales.

“We have two primary goals that we support in our Class Six and Express locations, which are 'Grow the Express' and 'Intensify National Brands,'” MacFawn said. ...

Read more AAFES CLASS SIX ...


DeCA VITAMINS, MINERALS, SUPPLEMENTS AND ENERGY FOODS:
The Road to Category Health

 

With Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) stores a stronghold for sales of national and trusted brands at cost prices, it is not surprising that brand loyalty plays a significant role in customers' shopping basket selections. Also high on patrons' supplement shopping lists in the category recently have been alternative product formats and products with laboratory and “pharmacist-recommended” endorsements.

“Commissary patrons are brand loyal within the agency's vitamins category,” said DeCA Category Manager LaRue Smith, who is responsible for baby and healthcare. “National brands are by far the preferred brands. Nature Made is the No.-1 brand in dollar sales and No. 1 in dollar growth contribution, contributing about 37 percent of total DeCA CONUS dollar growth in the VMS area.” Product innovation has also played a major role in the category and is manifested in sales increases among gummy and melt formats. Patrons have also responded to product attributes such as “No.-1 'pharmacist recommended,'” and according to the category manager, “Consumer loyalty is highest for national brands because of depth of assortment and higher trust factors.”

According to Smith, DeCA's commissaries “offer customers the best brands and the best items available at the best possible everyday price. Furthermore, our stores carry a wide selection of brand-name vitamin products which are USP-verified and 'pharmacist recommended.' Our stores also carry a solid representation of children's and adult multivitamins as well as branded bone and joint health products.” ...

Read more DeCA VITAMINS, MINERALS, SUPPLEMENTS AND ENERGY FOODS ...


Snapshot
RESALE SNAPSHOT — MARCH 2015

 

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals