ECN CoverE and C Commissary News

Highlights of March 2013 Issue



DeCA's Financial Accountability Rated Top-Notch by Independent Auditor


• FORT LEE — For the 11th consecutive year, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) earned an “unqualified opinion” for its financial statements, as certified by an independent auditor. This means that the agency's financial statements are fairly represented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Earning this unqualified opinion means that “every dollar appropriated to deliver the commissary benefit and every dollar generated in sales is accounted for,” said agency Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph H. Jeu.

“Meeting the highest standards in managing our financial resources remains a source of pride for us,” Jeu said. “We want American taxpayers and all our customers to know that their dollars are accounted for, the commissary benefit remains financially sound, and we remain vigilant stewards of our appropriations. ”...


AAFES's Presence Felt at 'CAMO' Event


• ARLINGTON, Texas —  On Jan. 19, Cowboys Stadium hosted approximately 500 servicemembers, veterans and military family members during the inaugural “Challenge America Military Opportunities (CAMO)” event, billed as a “first of its kind” day of fun with a focus on comprehensive soldier and family fitness. ...


NEXCOM Names Cook to 'A Better You,'
Matthews Takes On Sporting Goods, Tactical


• VIRGINIA BEACH — The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) recently named Lisa Matthews as its sporting goods, tactical and bicycles category buyer in its headquarters based General Merchandise Group (GMG), and confirmed it was developing a “A Better You” concept sales area.

On Feb. 4, Matthews — formerly NEXCOM's longtime Navy Pride buyer — succeeded Grace Cook in the sporting goods/tactical areas.

Cook is now responsible for the new category, which covers vitamins and supplements, including fish oil, weight control products, and other select wellness products, to be merchandised in the new A Better You area. ...


AAFES, Vendor Partners Visit Dallas Fisher House


• DALLAS — On Jan. 30, Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thomas “Tom” Shull was joined by Fisher Jim Weiskopf, Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson and Exchange vendor partners in a tour of the 21-suite Dallas Fisher House, located on the grounds of the Veterans Administration North Healthcare System. ...


Bianchi to Speak at HRALA Jerry Jared Gala


• NORFOLK — Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) chief executive officer (CEO), has been named as the featured speaker at the annual Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Logistics Association (HRALA) Jerry Jared scholarship fundraising gala. ...


Largest USO Center Opens Doors for Troops, Wounded Warriors, Families


• FORT BELVOIR, Md. — On Feb. 5, the United Service Organizations (USO) opened the largest center in its storied history, a more than 20,000-square-foot facility here.

Under construction for a year, the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir was said by the organization to have been specifically designed “to promote a community of care and provide resources, programs and support to our men and women in uniform, especially our wounded, ill and injured troops as they prepare to return to active duty or transition to the next phase of life.” ...


Read more IN THE NEWS ...

Delivering an 'Exceptional Experience' Based on Customer Lifestyles

Sales Directorate Senior Vice President Ana Middleton

Ana Middleton has been the senior vice president (SVP) of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Sales Directorate (SD) since April 2011, and under her direction the SD has aligned itself more closely than ever with the needs and desires of Exchange shoppers.

Middleton guides readers through some of those changes in the following exclusive interview with E and C News, and discusses numerous other topics, including her career, sales strategies, increasing the presence of national brands in Exchange stores, and thinking outside the “Big Box.” ...

'We also must pay attention to understanding how our customers live, and deliver an exceptional experience based on their lifestyles.'
— AAFES Sales Directorate Senior Vice President Ana Middleton


Read the complete ANA MIDDLETON INTERVIEW ...

Aligning Critical Resources With Growth Areas and
'Navy Family' Preferences

NEXCOM Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Tess Paquette

E and C News spoke with the Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) Chief Merchandising Officer Tess Paquette on the eve of a fiscal year-ending military payday weekend sale — an event that was expected to put an exclamation mark on a solid shopping year for Navy patrons and NEXCOM stores.

In this interview, Paquette reveals how NEXCOM developed its game-changing back-third strategy, and is creating a benefit more closely aligned with “the Navy family” than any NEXCOM strategy that has set sail before it. ...

'One of the challenges that we always face is building awareness across all senior leadership of what NEXCOM truly represents in terms of its capabilities and support for patrons and the Navy.'
— Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) Chief Merchandising Officer Tess Paquette


Read the complete TESS PAQUETTE Q&A ...

Wellness, Men's Care on the Rise


Despite the diminished impact of sales in the contingency theater, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's (AAFES) health and beauty care (HBC) assortment continued to show sales strength as fiscal 2012 concluded.

According to AAFES HBC Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM) Jennifer Little, fiscal 2012 sales volume was $348.8 million.

Sales without contingency were $276.5 million, a 1-percent increase from prior year.

Contingency sales are important to the Exchange's overall bottom line. Little said her top five HBC sales subcategories during fiscal 2012 through the second week of January 2013 were sports nutrition; razors and blades; vitamins and supplements; deodorants and anti-perspirants; and cough and cold items.

Contingency sales made up more than one-quarter of the sales in these areas, buoyed by sports nutrition, where 47 percent of sales came from the theater of operations. ...

Read more AAFES HBC...

AAFES SPIRITS: Earning Their Space


Experiencing a slight uptick in dollar volume as fiscal 2012 concluded, AAFES buyers and stores were tightening the focus on in-stocks and the right balance of one-time buys (OTB) and distribution center (DC) assortments and inventories to meet patron preferences in 2013.

Sharon P. Williams, senior buyer of spirits in the exchange service's headquarters based Sales Directorate (SD), reported that through December, fiscal 2012 sales of these beverages were $265 million, a 1-percent increase from prior-year sales of $262.5 million.

She told E and C News that with one month to go before the end of the fiscal year, “The spirits department is currently on plan to meet the 2012 sales goal.” ...

Read more AAFES SPIRITS ...



M&M's Brand Snack Mix Named 2013 'Product of the Year'


• HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — On Feb. 13, Mars Chocolate North America announced M&M's Brand Snack Mix was named the 2013 Product of the Year in the candy and snacks category by Product of the Year USA. The brand accepted the award during a ceremony in New York City the prior evening.

M&M's Brand Snack Mix was selected winner of the Candy & Snacks category by securing high marks, particularly in satisfaction. Consumers cited the combination of roasted peanuts, oven-baked mini-cookies and golden pretzel twists as an excellent sweet and salty addition to any party. ...


Diageo Steps Forward to Help Military Families


• NORWALK, Conn. — Diageo, known for its world-famous brands of alcoholic beverages including Baileys, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan and many others, is adding a Caribbean flavor to its ongoing series of programs and promotions supporting troops and their families.

Captain Morgan Salutes the Troops,” slated for this month, awards four winners an all-expenses- paid trip to St. Croix, location of the Captain Morgan distillery. Winners will be selected around Labor Day. ...


Read the complete NEWSMAKERS ...



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