ECN CoverE and C Commissary News

Highlights of May 2012 Issue

'Laser-Focused On the Mission'

NEXCOM CEO Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.)


The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) bridge is back in the capable direction of Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), and the former commander, who returned in January as the Navy Exchange's first civilian chief executive officer (CEO), has set sail toward NEXCOM's 2015 Strategic Plan with a familiar crew of “dedicated professionals” aboard, and with the retail equivalent of a strong breeze — 5-percent sales growth as of February — at his back.

In this exclusive interview, Bianchi addresses numerous waypoints on his chart, from supporting the Secretary of the Navy's 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative to goals and objectives at store level. Asked about the hot topics of the day, the NEXCOM CEO also opens a candid window on the sterling work of the re-designated Cooperative Efforts Board (CEB) and its new members; the lack of a solid business case scenario for exchange consolidation, and the multiple ways NEXCOM is intent on improving the customer experience system-wide and keeping NEXCOM “top of mind” among patrons and Navy Leadership alike.

'We have to be brilliant at the basics of delivering this important non-pay benefit to stay relevant to our patrons and the Navy.'
— NEXCOM CEO Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.)


Read the complete BIANCHI INTERVIEW ...



Gatorade Sponsors Air Force Women's Team in All-Service
Women's Basketball Tournament


• TYNDALL AFB, FLA. —Gatorade sponsored the Air Force women's team in the Armed Forces Women's Basketball Tournament, held here from March 27-31 at the installation’s's Fitness Center.

“I would like to sincerely thank Jerry Holloway of Dunham & Smith for all the support in making this a memorable event for our military personnel,” said Tyndall AFB Fitness Center Director Lou South. “I also would like to thank the Tyndall Commissary, especially Store Director Gordy Harris, who has been dedicated and enthusiastic in his support of all Tyndall AFB Fitness Center-sponsored activities throughout the year.” ...


AAFES Honors Hershey Company as 'Vendor of the Year'


• DALLAS — The Hershey Company was recently honored by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) as its “Vendor of the Year.” The award was presented on March 21 at the annual Exchange Main Store Managers/General Managers (MSM/GM) Conference held here.

According to the exchange service, Hershey's was chosen for the award from an extensive base of more than 3,600 suppliers who call on the Exchange.

The company was selected based on several criteria, including:

  • Its category advisor leadership for everyday and seasonal candy.
  • Its overall insights into industry trends that the Exchange was able to capitalize on, resulting in positive sales growth in 2011 of 14.6 percent over prior year.
  • Its commitment as a vendor partner, which was demonstrated by the company's support through the Exchange Military Shopper Insights Study, as well as developing a new signing program that is being tested in select main stores and Express locations.
  • Its commitment to supporting the Exchange, which was found to be exemplary and deserving of recognition. ...


Read the complete NEWSMAKERS ...


Strong Partnership Thrives In an Ever-Changing Environment

The long-established downrange partnership between Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS)/Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) continues to flourish, even as the geographical focus of the mission has moved about 1,400 miles from Iraq to Afghanistan.

“Currently our partnership with AAFES proves beneficial to both parties,” said CWO4 Eric A. Littlejohn, OIC, MCCS, 2nd MLG (Fwd.), the head of the MCCS contingent in Afghanistan. “The relationship remains virtually unchanged with the transition from Iraq to Afghanistan.

“Providing exchange services to the warfighter is the top priority of the MCCS Marines and our AAFES counterparts in the theater of operations. The AAFES/ MCCS team downrange continuously works together to ensure all servicemembers are afforded the opportunity for exchange services in forward areas.” ...

Read more MCX DOWNRANGE ...

AAFES PROFILE: Fort Carson, Colo., Food Court —
'3-in-1' Concept, Focus on Service Leads to Success


The 8,748-square-foot Fort Carson, Colo., food court offers patrons an array of food choices and conveniences that make the nearly year-old site popular with an ever-increasing active duty population and their families.

Exchange General Manager (GM) Patrick Riordan said that the food court is open seven days a week and is anchored by a “3-in-1” restaurant dining concept providing three different dining experiences in one setting.

Restaurants that are part of the concept — also known as the “Triple Foods” facility — are Arby's, Burger King and Manchu Wok. The site opened in September 2011.

The site — which is managed by Jerome Melillo — offers drive-through service for Burger King and Arby's, “where we make it possible to serve each customer quickly and efficiently,” Riordan noted. The three restaurants, which employ 78 workers, offer inside seating for 250 diners....

Read more AAFES PROFILE ...

• VCS Total Retail Sales
• MCX Retail Sales
• DeCA YTD Transactions (Feb. 2012 vs. Feb. 2011 and % Change)
• AAFES Direct Sales By Category (February 2012 and % Change vs. Feb. 2011
• NEXCOM Month-by-Month Comparison (Mar. 2011-Feb. 2012,
   And % Change from Prior-Year Period

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals