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Highlights of November 2012 Issue



NEXCOM Opens Replacement Northeast Distribution Center


• SUFFOLK, Va. — On Oct. 26, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) opened its new 350,000-sq.- ft., Northeast Distribution Center (NEDC) here at CenterPoint Intermodal Center.

The new NEDC is slated to be the distribution and freight consolidation point for 152 NEX and Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) outlets located in the Mid-Atlantic and Europe/Africa/Southwest Asia regions. The new state-of-the-art Suffolk facility replaces two older buildings located in Norfolk, Va., which handled approximately $140 million of merchandise, at cost, per year. ...


AAFES Supports 'Operation Warfighter' Program


• DALLAS — During the summer of 2011, Staff Sgt. Andrew McElroy Jr. was serving as a tracked-vehicle mechanic/instructor in the Advanced Leaders' Course at Fort Hood, Texas, when he was severely injured in a fall.

McElroy injured three disks in his back, suffered a broken wrist, and as a result could no longer serve in his then-current Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

Fortunately, while stationed at Fort Hood in the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), he discovered a program known as Operation Warfighter (OWF) that provides wounded and injured servicemembers with an opportunity to try new career fields. ...


DeCA Addresses Hawaii Container Fee Increase


• FORT LEE —On July 16, the State of Hawaii Department of Health informed various entities, including the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), that, effective Sept. 1, it was increasing the Hawaii Deposit Beverage Container (DBC) program's container fee from 1 cent to 1.5 cents per container. The fee applies to all glass, plastic and metal deposit beverage containers that are 68 fluid ounces or less. ...


CGX Buyers Assigned New Category Responsibilities


• CHESAPEAKE — The Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) announced that Samantha Bishop, Dawn Stith and Terri Holman have taken on new buying positions in its headquarters-based Merchandising Group.

Following the departure of Buyer Sean Sommer, Bishop was reassigned to handle Sommer's former categories, including electronics, computers and prerecorded entertainment. Bishop, who formerly was responsible for women's apparel, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry and watches, was succeeded by Stith, who had been CGX's logo and giftware buyer. Following Stith as logo and giftware buyer is Holman, who had been the assistant logo and giftware buyer. ...

Little Creek Combo Mini-Mart Hits Green and Healthy Target


• JEB LITTLE CREEK-FORT STORY — A new Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Mini-Mart opened here on Sept. 13. The new one-story building, located on “D” Street near Gate 5, combines a 9,931-gross-square-foot Mini-Mart, gas station and package store into one facility.

Constructed to meet the Silver-level Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the store features wider aisles, three registers for faster checkout, an expanded coffee bar, and a food and snack assortment ...


AAFES Execs' Roles Shift


• DALLAS —The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) announced a series of personnel changes, effective in the August 2012 to December 2012 time frame. ...


Read the complete IN THE NEWS ...



DoD Honored for Creating Programs Supporting Military Families


• WASHINGTON — On Sept. 24, Mary Scott, the chairman of the National Military Family Association's (NMFA) board of governors, presented the Department of Defense (DoD) with its annual Support of Military Families Award during a reception on Capitol Hill. Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy (MCFP), accepted the award on behalf of the department.

During the presentation, Scott highlighted the many programs DoD has created in partnership with congressional committees since Sept. 11, 2001, to support military families worldwide. ...


DeCA, NIB Sign Joint Vision Statement, As AAFES, NEXCOM Renew Commitments


• WASHINGTON — On Oct. 3, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) signed a joint vision statement where they formalized their commitment to identifying and pursuing business opportunities that are mutually beneficial for both organizations. At the same time the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) signed individual Joint Statements of Guiding Principles, also enhancing their historically strong business relationships with NIB.

DeCA Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph H. Jeu, NEXCOM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), AAFES Director and CEO Tom Shull and NIB President and CEO Kevin A. Lynch signed the statements during a special ceremony held during the American Logistics Association's (ALA) 65th Annual Convention here at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. ...

Read the complete NEWSMAKERS ...

$6 BILLION ... and BEYOND —


• FORT LEE — Although the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced that it has surpassed its long-anticipated $6-billion sales goal for fiscal 2012, it is not likely to rest on its laurels anytime soon.

The milestone is remarkable in that it was achieved — for the first time in 20 years — with 40 percent fewer stores. The agency actually crossed the $6-billion sales threshold on Sept. 26, according to DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. “When DeCA last achieved the $6-billion sales level in 1992, it operated 411 stores. Today, it has 248 commissaries. I'm very proud of my team here at DeCA,” he said. ...

Read more $6 BILLION ... and BEYOND ...



Children Engage In 'Healing Through Fun'


• DALLAS — Now in its seventh year, Snowball Express continues to grow in the number of participants, a development that Executive Director Francis “Buck” Kern sees as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by servicemembers, and the toll it has taken on those families left behind.

Snowball Express, which honors the children of fallen military heroes who have died since Sept. 11, 2001, “is unfortunately growing,” in size, Kern said. “We have so many servicemembers being killed, and our mission is to never forget them. Today, many of our soldiers are returning home and are being reunited with their families. We must remember that many families will never be reunited with their hero. Many soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and their children will never be reunited with their dad or mom.” ...

'December is a very difficult time of year for these kids to go through the holidays without their hero. What we hope is that these four days show them that it's OK to smile, to laugh again.'
— Snowball Express Executive Director Francis “Buck” Kern




Educated Patrons Mean Healthier Sales


Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) patrons are becoming more educated about the benefits of vitamins and supplements as it pertains to living healthier, according to Category Buyer for Health and Beauty Care (HBC) Janet Berry, and that has led to double-digit sales increases in many health-related subcategories.

Berry, whose areas of responsibility include deodorants, hair care products, ethnic hair care products, sports nutrition, vitamins, supplements and first aid products, said that while vitamins and supplements have increased by just 0.7 percent year to date in fiscal 2012, several high-growth health segments are producing sizable sales gains over the prior year. ...




Snack Avenue, Class Six, Fast Food: Join Lifein the Express Lane


As shoppers' lifestyles demand easy and quick food options, the Exchange is keeping pace with the trend of convenient, fast and fresh food by expanding its offerings in the Express Snack Avenue program.

In addition, in the convenience arena, Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mike Howard notes, “Express stores are evolving along with the industry. We implement designs that are convenient for shoppers, allow opportunity for future growth, and offer the latest in sustainability. The store layouts are more efficient and allow quicker checkout.” ...




Growth Dynamo: Small Stores, Targeted Product Mix


Most of the Navy Exchange Service Command's (NEXCOM) food and consumables categories come under the aegis of Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM) Bill Darwin. And a great many of the products in these categories are sold in the exchange service's network of Mini-Marts and NEX Depots, and Navy Housing stores.

These small, specialty and convenience stores, Darwin noted, “account for one-third of the command's total retail sales and twothirds of consumables sales.” ...




Staying in Stock, Building Excitement On Core Items, Best Sellers


The weeks preceding the Big Game, and often the day of, is a peak selling opportunity for Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Class Six stores, for it is during this crucial period that every facet of the exchange service's Big Game battle plan — involving the category captains, distributors and brokers — comes to fruition. With a large number of patrons under drinking age, soft drinks, energy drinks and water are critical categories — ones that require extra attention to keep in stock, but which can also generate significant sales lift during the promotional period.

Vicki Venables, senior buyer of non-alcoholic beverages in the exchange service's Sales Directorate (SD), noted that the promotional period preceding 2012's Super Bowl XLVI more than lived up to expectations.

In terms of average sales lift, non-alcoholic beverages stood out last year as gamebreakers with a sharp bump in sales of 75 percent over regular activity. The two weeks leading into the Big Game saw the exchange service generate $300,162 in promoted soft drink sales.

Looking toward February, Venables told E and C News that the exchange service “will most likely have another 'Big Game' sweepstakes to tie into the sales promotions.” ...


• Military Resale FY 2012 (Sales YTD August)
• AAFES Direct Sales By Category (YTD August 2012)
• DeCA YTD August Average Sales Per Store, By Area
• MCX YTD 2012 Retail Sales (YTD August 2012 vs. YTD August 2011, CONUS/OCONUS
• NEXCOM Exchange Sales (August 2012 vs. August 2011, CONUS/OCONUS

Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals