ECN CoverE and C Commissary News

Highlights of March 2012 Issue

Distributor Honors WWII's 'Doolittle Raiders'


Wine and spirits distributor Moët Hennessy continues an annual tradition next month by honoring 80 World War II American heroes who took part in a secret, memorable and courageous raid against Japanese forces.

The annual reunion of the “Doolittle Raiders” takes place at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, from April 17-20.

The Doolittle Raiders, led by then-Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, USAAF, delivered the first strike against Japan on April 18, 1942, during World War II. The mission featured 16 five-man crews piloting B-25 bombers that attacked Japan in defense of the people and ideals of the U.S. Read more...

CGX Q&A: Capt. Robert E. McKenna, USCG, Commanding Officer,
Coast Guard Community Services Command (CSC) —
'Making Our Opportunities Become Realities'


A year ago, Capt. Robert E. McKenna, USCG, succeeded Capt. Edward N. Eng, USCG, as the commander of the Coast Guard Community Services Command (CSC), the governing body that oversees the Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) and Morale, Well-being and Recreation (MWR).

In this exclusive interview with E and C News, McKenna talks about Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp's guiding principles for the CSC, CGX's successes during the past year, new initiatives such as the exchange system's new CGX MarketPlace store format, and CSC's vision for the future. Read more...

NEXCOM CONSUMABLES/HBC: Pat Igoe — VP Merchandise Group 2 —
NEXCOM's Focus: 'The Best Support We Can Provide'


In 2011, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) streamlined and sharpened the focus of its merchandising and logistics groups, at the same time as it reorganized its General Merchandise Group, to concentrate on improvements in space management, supply chain efficiencies, the category review process and vendor fill rates. And it has already felt some of the benefits, not only in sales and fill rates, but also in its ability to improve the assortments it delivers to patrons.

Declaring that “business is good,” Pat Igoe, NEXCOM's vice president (VP) of Merchandising Group 2 (MG2) , which covers such high-velocity consumables areas as health and beauty care (HBC), candy, snacks, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, pet supplies, electronics, stationery, home office and hardware, looks forward to continued dynamic sales performance during fiscal 2012. Read more...

MCX CONSUMABLES: 'Doing it Right'


Coming from mainly a retail softlines background, new Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM), Consumables, Bob McLaughlin said that one of the recurrent lessons learned in his pre-MCX career is “the importance of being first to market with newness and doing it right.”

McLaughlin, who succeeded Teresa Peck (now the Branch Head, MCX Field Operations) in this role, believes he has an extremely talented and dedicated team that makes this happen.

“Relationships play an important part in being successful in retail, and the vendor community has been very supportive of the Marines. I want the vendor community to know that at the MCX, we are open to new ideas and to products that will grow our business and theirs. I know not everything is going to work, but we will not be able to sustain growth if we keep repeating what we have always done. Our customers are young, and they are willing to try new things, and our job is to be sure that we provide the excitement and newness for them.”” Read more...

'March' to Successful Frozen Food Promotions


March is perennially one of the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) premier months for the frozen food category. Strongly supported by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Food Association's (NFRA) Penguin Awards competition, frozen food sales heat up during this time.

“Based on units sold, March is a very close second to October as the best month for frozen food sales,” said Marketing Business Unit (MBU) Category Manager Lou Kennedy. “DeCA's military customers prepare for the holidays in a big way, which makes October through December the other 'hot' period for frozen food sales.”

Following the holidays, Kennedy characterized January through March as “relatively slow months” for overall store sales, “so the strength of frozen food promotions in March really shows.”” Read more...

DeCA CANDY: Planogram and Front-End Rack Changes
Keep Pace with Patrons' Preferences


For 2012, Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) Candy, Direct Store Delivery (DSD) and Front-End Rack Category Buyer Joel Small expects that in addition to changes to the regu-lar candy aisle assortment, patrons can expect to see a new look to some of the more familiar candy displays adjacent to store checkout lines as the year progresses.

Both newer items and familiar patron favorites will be show-cased on new front-end display racks that began to be installed on Feb. 17, and which were expected to be completed by the end of this month in both CONUS and OCONUS stores. The buyer noted that there are 10 different racks with different sizes according to their register belt dimensions. The racks also vary depending on the coolers they are paired with.

“The new racks will include some healthier alternatives for snacking, and king-size bars will also be added to the stock assortment, keeping in line with outside-the-gate retailers' practices,” Small noted. Read more...

In Top-to-Top Summit


HERSHEY, Pa.: The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) was recognized as The Hershey Company's “Retailer of the Year” during the candy suppliers' Government Exchange Summit held here Dec. 6-8.

The meeting was attended by numerous Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) senior leaders, including Maj. Gen. Bruce A. Casella, USA, the exchange service's commander and chief executive officer (CEO). Read more...

Flavor Profiles, Promotions and In-Stocks Serve up Sales


Navigating the complexities of the supply chain in wine and spirits — which requires matching up brands, national suppliers, and which distributor has which brands — requires coordination and teamwork, according to Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Wine and Spirits Buyer Debbie Scher.

Fortunately for NEXCOM patrons, Scher has been responsible for the category since 2009, and she and her capable team are more than up to the task of managing the category's extensive variety and geographic diversity.

Through November 2011, sales in wine and spirits were $109.16 million, up 3.3 percent over the previous year's period and 6.8 percent above plan. Scher said NEXCOM has forecast a 4-percent increase for 2012, which she said, “looks very achievable based on current trends. We have strong sales, solid promotions and positive in-stocks, all factors in continued growth.” Read more...



Joint Chiefs, Panetta, Honor Wounded Warriors, Families,
At 'Monster' USO Tailgate Party


JB MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va.: On Sunday, Jan. 22, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA, his wife Deanie, JCS Vice Chairman Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., USN, his wife Mary, and the USO of Metropolitan Washington, co-hosted a special event with Monster Energy for Wounded Warriors and their families, here. ...

AAFES Receives Award for Candy Sales


DALLAS: On Jan. 31, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) received an award from Mars Inc. for its sales of 1 million Snickers bars during the exchange service's “Item of the Month” promotion in December. ...

Read the complete NEWSMAKERS ...

• Fiscal Year 2011 YTD Totals — Through December 2011
• MCX Retail Sales by Region — Fiscal 2011 vx. Fiscal 2010, Year to Date (YTD)
   With Percent Change
• AAFES Direct Sales by Region — December 2011 With Percent Change vs. December 2010
• NEXCOM December Exchange Sales by Region, 3-Year Trend (Dec. 2009 - Dec. 2011)

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals