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E and C NEWS

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Highlights of the June 2017 Issue


Ready to Go at a Moment’s Notice


Whether for re-stationing, deployment, bugout, a three-day patrol, or simply for moving from point A to point B, military personnel need to have their gear at the ready at all times, and they require luggage and equipment that is up to “mil spec” or the task at hand. With this in mind, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) carries a wide assortment of the latest backpacks, duffel bags and other luggage items to address all these needs.

Marissa Tinoco, the Exchange buyer who is responsible for these items, reported that category sales rose during fiscal 2016, with backpacks, duffels and other luggage items — including civilian luggage products — generating $39.6 million in sales, a 5.5-percent increase from the $37.54 million in sales generated during the prior year. …

“Military tactical-styled backpacks are doing very well,” Tinoco noted. “Oversized duffels continue to remain strong, especially during PCS season and holiday selling periods. MultiCam and coyote brown colors are doing very well in military bags.”


Early Start, Promotions Build Holiday Excitement


Although much of the media and patron focus during the holidays tends to gravitate toward hardlines and softlines, there may be no more important time for Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) retail food sales than during the annual November/December holiday season.

“The fourth quarter is a crucial time of the year for retail food,” said Danielle Pelland, Exchange senior buyer, retail food, adding that more than $57 million in sales were generated by this area in Exchange stores during the final two months of calendar 2016, with $32.7 million of these sales coming in December (56.6 percent), and $25.1 million in activity coming in November (43.4 percent).

“The store guidance on merchandising is that in general, they will need to move as much product to the floor the day after Halloween to set the holiday season,” Pelland said. “This will be merchandised by usage occasion, brands and price, and stores will need to create secondary displays. However, stores will not be responsible for ordering one-time buys (OTB); they are managed centrally at headquarters.”



The Ultimate Holiday Resource


With the end-of-the-calendar-year holidays coming up, November and December are important for Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) stores, with significant food and specialty food sales made during these two festive months.

According to Barbara Merriweather — who is DeCA’s category manager for Food and currently its acting category manager for Specialty Foods — sales in her center-store Food categories totaled more than $90 million during this twomonth period in 2016, with November producing $44.89 million in sales and December having $45.75 million in sales.

The Specialty Foods categories also experienced healthy sales during those two months, with a total of more than $61 million in sales, with November producing $30.75 million in activity, and December with $30.67 million in sales.

Some categories have been “resilient,” Merriweather said, while some others have eroded.





The following list, derived from information furnished by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), identifies 630 suppliers doing more than $1 million in business with the exchange service in fiscal 2016.

The number of million-dollar companies is somewhat lower than it was on the fiscal 2015 list, but the club continues to be an exclusive one. Its membership list is an honor roll testifying to quality merchandise and sustained performance.

According to AAFES, dollar amounts shown reflect sales versus finance and accounting payments. Previous years’ rankings shown here are based on data furnished in 2016 and 2015.

In the following list, sales generated by subsidiaries, bottlers, wholesalers and distributors of beverage producers have in general been rolled up into one sales figure, assigned to the producer.

In some cases in which each of two or more divisions of a single company did more than $1 million in business with AAFES, sales from divisions/subsidiaries have been combined into a single total. In others, the divisions are listed separately and are marked with an asterisk (*). Not included on the list are government agencies with which AAFES does business.



Wilson Confirmed as Air Force Secretary


• WASHINGTON — On May 8, Air Force veteran and former New Mexico 1st District Congresswoman Heather Wilson was confirmed by the Senate as secretary of the Air Force. She succeeds Deborah Lee James, who served for slightly over three years in the position, from Dec. 13, 2013, to Jan. 20, 2017. Lisa Disbrow, the undersecretary of the Air Force since 2016, had been acting secretary of the Air Force since Jan. 20.

Dowling Appointed DeCA’s Acting Director/CEO


• FORT LEE — Michael A. Dowling, SES, was appointed the Defense Commissary Agency’s (DeCA) acting director and chief executive officer (CEO), taking the agency’s reins following the retirement of DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu, who retired on June 3. As the search continues for a new director, Dowling will lead the agency until a direct replacement for Jeu is named, and he will also remain the agency’s deputy director and chief operating officer (COO).

Brown to Take Command of CGCSC, CGX


• CHESAPEAKE —In a change-of-command ceremony to be held on June 30, Capt. Bruce C. Brown, USCG, is to become commander of the Coast Guard Community Services Command (CGCSC), the entity that oversees the Coast Guard Exchange (CGX). He succeeds Capt. Robert L. Whitehouse, USCG, who had served in this capacity since June 27, 2014.

Whitehouse’s new assignment is as resource management chief, Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command, Portsmouth, Va.

AAFES Announces ‘Re-Establishment’ of Europe/SWA Region


DALLAS — With its mission outside the U.S. growing along with increased exercises and training in the region, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) announced that it was “re-establishing” its Europe/Southwest Asia Region along with the region’s senior vice president (SVP) billet. Simultaneously it named Jason Rosenberg as region SVP.

Headquartered in Sembach, Germany, and led by its commander, Col. Geoffrey C. De Tingo, USA, AAFES’s Europe/Southwest Asia Region encompasses operations in Germany; Belgium; the Netherlands; Italy; United Kingdom; Norway; Turkey; the Balkans (Bosnia, Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria); Poland; the Azores; and contingency areas.

“When the Department of Defense (DoD) began aggressive force restructuring efforts in 2012, the Exchange right-sized operations and consolidated its European, Southwest Asia and Pacific operations into a single OCONUS region,” an AAFES spokesman explained.

Defense Budget Request Restores Full Funding for Commissaries


WASHINGTON — Unveiled on May 23, the President’s proposed budget request of $639.1 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal 2018 included full funding for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA).

In general terms, John Roth, performing the duties of DoD comptroller, said funding for the department’s budget — which is made up of $574.5 billion in base funding and $64.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) — is “required to continue to rebuild warfighting readiness and will restore program balance by fixing the holes created by previous budget cuts.” The Budget Control Act (BCA) and sequestration have “done more damage to our readiness than the enemies in the field,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in answer to a question about sequestration from Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C) during a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing on May 22.

AAFES Names Merchandising and Central Region VPs


DALLAS — Anna Iosefo, formerly the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) primary vice president (VP) of the Central Region, was named the Exchange’s VP of the Merchandising Directorate (MD) effective in April, and Lorenzo Salgado was named regional VP, Central Region.

Iosefo succeeded Karen Cardin, who had been wearing two hats as MD VP and e-Commerce senior VP (SVP) since the late October retirement of John Engroff (see E and C News, November 2016). Cardin continues as e-Commerce SVP.

In his new role as the Central Region’s Regional VP, Salgado will be based at Lackland AFB, Texas. Most recently he had been general manager (GM) of the Lackland and Randolph Exchanges, both part of JB San Antonio, Texas.

NEXCOM Names Carrow PA Officer


VIRGINIA BEACH — The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) recently named Courtney Carrow as its public affairs officer (PAO). She fills a previously vacant post that was last staffed by Kelley Stirling.

Carrow comes to NEXCOM after serving for the past two years as legislative director for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), served on the committee’s Military Personnel Subcommittee.


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'Criminal Minds' Star Shoots 'Big Guns' at MCX Store


• QUANTICO — Actor Joe Mantegna, one of the stars of the long-running CBS drama “Criminal Minds,” appeared here on May 17 at the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) FBI Store to shoot another show he is appearing in — the Outdoor Channel’s “Big Guns” — for an episode that is slated to focus on the FBI arsenal.

Mars Chocolate, Wrigley Partner for a Healthier America


• WASHINGTON — On May 11, Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley U.S. announced the creation of what are said to be the confectionery industry’s first and most significant consumer health and well-being standards and commitments.

In collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and other top confectionery manufacturers, these commitments are all centered on offering consumers — including patrons who shop military exchanges and commissaries — more product choices and transparency.

AAFES, Partners Unveil New Warrior-Edition Mustang to Benefit Paralyzed Veterans


• CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Petty’s Garage, in partnership with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and Military AutoSource, a subsidiary of Overseas Military Sales Corp., announced a new Warrior-edition Ford Mustang during an unveiling at the NASCAR Hall of Fame hosted by Richard Petty, a NASCAR all-time great known as “The King.”

The one-of-a-kind, high-performance Mustangs will be sold exclusively through the Exchange on military installations overseas. A portion of proceeds from each Petty’s Garage Warrior Ford Mustang vehicle sold will benefit Paralyzed Veterans of America. Petty has long supported the organization’s efforts to aid Veterans following catastrophic injury. Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only Congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease.

Lifestyle Festivals Offer ‘Best of Resale’


FORT LEE — Special savings on commissary and exchange products, along with the opportunity to participate in fitness-related events, were offered to military members and their families during the worldwide “Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival,” held May 26 to June 25 throughout the Defense Commissary Agency’s (DeCA) worldwide network of commissaries.


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‘FBCB’ Makes Splash Landing In Navy C-Stores


The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) is in the process of refining the convenience food assortment it offers to NEX customers in the exchange service’s package stores and Mini-Marts to better meet their on-the-go needs.

“We have been refining our hot food convenience product offerings as well as our brewed and fountain drinks,” said Dennis Wilkerson, NEXCOM vice president (VP), Food Service Program. “We have titled this portion of the Mini-Marts the ‘Food and Beverage Convenience Bar,’ or FBCB.”

Wilkerson noted, “Over the past few years, we have enhanced our roller grill program, adding hot dogs, sausages and Tornados to most of our operations. We have been experimenting with pizza and wings in a few locations and we have even added an entire hot food line to our location at Aviation Plaza, NAS Pensacola, Fla. Additionally, we have been actively adding the f’real shake program to our operations and there are nearly 20 in our organization today, with some selling more than 50 shakes daily.”



Uniform Introduction Poses Comparison Challenges


Influenced by various factors, including the emergence of a new uniform, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES) tactical assortment — particularly military accessories and boots, and some other items — experienced relatively solid sales during fiscal 2016, with an eye on continued success in fiscal 2017.

Eric Endel, AAFES tactical uniforms and accessories buyer, noted that his categories all fared reasonably well during fiscal 2016, despite the fluctuations inherent to the military tactical supplies and clothing area.

Endel told E and C News that fiscal 2016 sales for military accessories were $20.7 million, which represented a 0.5-percent increase from the prior year, but that the area experienced both positive and negative impacts. “Sales had downward impacts from reduced military end strength and lower deployment numbers in early fiscal 2016,” he noted. “Sales had positive impacts from adopters of the new Army Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniform accessories.” ...



Meeting Needs Wherever Marines Are Stationed


With Marines constantly on the move, whether deployed, at training sites, or at any downrange location, the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) is tasked to ensure there will be sufficient levels of tactical inventory on hand to meet their needs — and working ahead is key.

“We have all our tactical items on replenishment,” noted Eydie Quisumbing the Tactical, Sporting Goods and Bicycles buyer for the MCX. “Our replenishment analyst reviews the fill levels by site and makes adjustments based on the sales history, lead time and days of supply.

“Sometimes, we generate build orders to account for troop movements, however, we need at least four-to-six weeks of advance notice from the stores. Otherwise, it becomes challenging to fulfill the amount of units needed due to vendor availability and length of transit time.” ...




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