E and C NEWS

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Highlights of June 2014 Issue


Two Surveys Demonstrate Steady Improvement in MCX Customer Satisfaction


• QUANTICO — Results from two recently completed surveys demonstrate that the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) is continuing a trend of steady improvement

Each year, the MCX takes part in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a retail-industry- wide survey administered by an independent, third-party vendor.

In the 2013 ACSI survey, the MCX exceeded the industry average with an overall customer satisfaction score of 83, which is significantly above the industry average of 77 and tied with civilian retailer Nordstrom as the industry leader. Read More MCX Customer Satisfaction ...

Senate Spotlights Commissaries, Quality of Life


• WASHINGTON — A restoration of DeCA's full funding for 2015; a provision authorizing the Defense Department (DoD) to purchase any commercial item, including generic items, for resale in commissaries; and a survey of servicemember preferences regarding military pay and benefits were three of the more notable provisions affecting military resale in the Senate Armed Services Committee's (SASC) recently proposed version of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Of significant concern to many servicemembers, DeCA personnel and commissary suppliers, has been the clouded fate of commissary funding for 2015 and beyond. The House Armed Services Committee's (HASC) markup of H. R. 4435 suggested a $100-million cut in lieu of DoD's call for a $200-million efficiency reduction in 2015 (see E and C News 5/14). Going further, the SASC's June 2 report accompanying what it has dubbed the “Carl Levin National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2015” (S. 2410) after the chairman, who retires at the end of this session of Congress, said it declined to support DoD's proposal —“ calling it “a change that could significantly impact commissary savings that servicemembers and their families depend on.” Read More Senate Spotlights ...

ASD (R&FM) Vollrath Retires, Barna Leads Team


• WASHINGTON — Frederick E. Vollrath, the assistant secretary of defense for Readiness and Force Management (ASD, R&FM), retired on June 15 after more than 40 years of government service. Vollrath, a former Army lieutenant general, held the R&FM position since April 18, 2013. Among other duties, he has been responsible for all matters related to civilian and military personnel policy, including the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA).

Stephanie Barna, SES, his principal deputy, took over the R&FM position upon his retirement. As this issue went to press, the President had not yet submitted his nomination to fill the post. Read More Frederick E. Vollrath ...

HASC Staff Member Wada Nominated as Army Assistant Secretary for M&RA


• WASHINGTON — On May 1, President Barack Obama nominated House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Professional Staff Member Debra Wada to be the assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

If the nomination makes it through the Senate approval process, Wada, who has served as the professional staff member for the HASC's Subcommittee on Military Personnel since 1999, would succeed Thomas Lamont, who left the position after four years in September 2013.
Read More Debra Wada ...

Turner Appointed MCX Interim Director


• QUANTICO — David J. Turner was appointed interim director of the Marine Corps Headquarters Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) Business and Support Services Division (known internally as MR), the body overseeing the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX), effective June 1. The search for a new director to succeed William C. Dillon, who retired on that same date, is expected to take two to three months to complete.  Read More MCX ...

DeCA Names Taylor Category Manager, Pet Food and Household


• FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) recently completed the latest reorganization of its category manager lineup with the naming of James “Jim” Taylor as category manager responsible for Pet Food and Household. Read More James “Jim” Taylor ...

AAFES Makes Consumables Buying Personnel Changes


• DALLASArmy & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Merchandising Directorate (MD) officials announced several shifts among its buying personnel in the Consumables Division affecting candy, beverages, health and beauty care (HBC), military clothing (MC), and one appointment in the Main Store Hardlines Division affecting outdoor living (ODL), among other areas. Read More Consumables Buying ...

NEXCOM Kicks Off 'Red, White and Navy Blue' Savings Program


• VIRGINIA BEACH —In celebration of servicemembers and their families, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) kicked off its “Red, White and Navy Blue”-themed savings events in all its stores worldwide, beginning in late May on Memorial Day weekend. The initiative offers exceptional pricing on everyday summer items. Read More NEXCOM Savings Program ...

DeCA Demo Highlights BFY Grocery Section Assortment


• FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) recently launched a demonstration project where specific stores in its worldwide commissary roster will undergo a product rearrangement that highlights healthy choices in their respective grocery departments... Read More DeCA Demo Highlights ...

SpartanNash Receives Patriot Award


• EDINA, Minn. — On May 20, Brig. Gen. Dennis W. Schulstad, USAF (Ret.) presented military food distributor SpartanNash with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award during a ceremony at the military food distributor's offices here.... Read More SpartanNash Patriot Award ...

NEXCOM Helps Military Kids with 'A-OK Student Reward Program'


• VIRGINIA BEACH — Since 1997, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) has been offering students a chance to help pay for college through its A-OK Student Reward Program. The program offers all qualified students a chance to participate in a quarterly drawing for monetary awards of $2,500, $1,500, $1,000 or $500, for a total of $5,500 per quarter ... Read More A-OK Student Reward Program...

AAFES Recognized As 'Best for Vets' Employer


• DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) was selected a “Best for Vets” employer for 2014 by Military Times. The military publication recognized the Exchange on its “Best for Vets: Employers” list for the exchange service's commitment to providing job opportunities to veterans, naming it No. 31 among the top 59 employers for veterans. This marks the first time the Exchange has received this recognition. ... Read More "Best for Vets' Employer ...

DeCA Names 2013 Best Commissary Award Winners


• FORT LEE — Each year, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) recognizes select military commissaries worldwide with its Best Commissary Awards for exceptional service and dedication in delivering the commissary benefit. The honors continue a tradition that is at least 50 years old — dating back long before DeCA''s inception— that spotlights overall excellence in commissary operations and service ... Read More Commissary Award Winners ...


SpartanNash Honors World War II Veterans


• GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — On May 21, military food distributor SpartanNash honored World War II heroes and their families in a commemorative event, which was organized in conjunction with a Leadership Gift by the Spartan Stores Foundation, to support members of the Holland American Legion Band''s trip to France and the Netherlands to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

On June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of the French coastline on the first day of the invasion known as D-Day that shaped the course of history. By nightfall on June 6, more than 4,400 Allied soldiers had lost their lives, and the ensuing Battle of Normandy claimed 209,000 Allied casualties. The D-Day assault on the German forces there, however, was pivotal in bringing World War II to a conclusion. Today, with the number of living World War II veterans dwindling rapidly, SpartanNash hosted this event so that the enduring memories of the men and women who served in that war are not forgotten.

Among the honored guests participating in the commemoration were four World War II veterans, including Bill Hill, who fought in Normandy; Navy Recruiter Petty Officer 1st Class, CS1, Arthur Hoskins, USN; Tech Sgt. Jose Guzman, USAF; Sgt. Steven E. Broomfield, USA; and Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth L. Bruce Jr., USMC. ...



Fiscal 2013 AAFES Million-Dollar Vendors


The following list, derived from information furnished by the Army && Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), identifies 740 suppliers doing more than $1 million in business with the exchange service in fiscal 2013.

The number of million-dollar companies is somewhat lower than it was on the fiscal 2012 list, and the club continues to be an exclusive one. Its membership list is an honor roll testifying to quality merchandise and sustained performance.



DeCA Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements (VMS):
Energized For a Strong 2014 Finish


Vitamins, minerals, other supplements (VMS) and energy bars continue to generate substantial sales for Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) stores.

With strong brands and alternative forms of triedand- true products in these traditional segments fueling growth, VMS dollar sales volume is expected to remain significant in the commissary Health and Beauty Care (HBC) segment.

LaRue Smith, category manager responsible for Baby and Healthcare in the headquarters-based Sales Directorate (SD), reported that through April 26, DeCA fiscal 2014 CONUS VMS sales were $17.7 million. In OCONUS, sales during this period were $2.1 million. This sales volume does not include energy foods and energy bars. ...

Smith told E and C News that forecasted DeCA CONUS dollar volume is $33 million through September 2014, while DeCA OCONUS VMS dollar volume is forecast to be $4.0 million through the end of the fiscal year.

With the move to a healthier lifestyle, Smith said that DeCA is linking sales and promotions of these types of products with consumers’ growing focus on health.

“Nature Made is promoted monthly, and sampling programs are being utilized to get consumers to try Nature Made Adult Gummies,” he explained. “These programs will be available for Nature Made Vitamelts as well.”

Smith said promotional displays featuring healthier products are built at store level by the broker community, with 10 percent of vitamins being promoted off-shelf.

Promotions also include in-store coupon pads, which he said “are used heavily,” along with free-standing insert (FSI) drops.





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