Highlights of the November 2014 Issue
DeCA, AAFES Open Long-Awaited Commissary, Express Stores
PITTSBURGH, Pa. — On Oct. 21, the long-awaited 43,000-square-foot Defense Commissary
Agency (DeCA) commissary and 10,741-square-foot Army
& Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Express officially opened for
business. These openings ushered in a new era of service and support
for approximately 168,000 Soldiers, Airmen, reservists, National Guard
personnel, military retirees and their families in western Pennsylvania,
Ohio, West Virginia and beyond, and also marked the culmination of
years of work to bring updated retail facilities to the area.
The new Express and commissary effectively replace the former
retail facilities at the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility, in nearby
Oakdale, which was tagged for closure under the 2005 round of Base
Realignment and Closure (BRAC). ...
Customers Speak: ‘Our Community Is Better Off’
COMMISSARY — “This is your commissary. This is your benefit,”
DeCA Director & CEO Joseph H. Jeu told the gathering of more than 500 patrons
during the 10 a.m. grand opening ceremony. “We
are here to serve you. Have a great day and enjoy
your commissary benefit.”
The new commissary, which was constructed using
$15 million from commissary patrons’ 5-percent
surcharge account, was designed to be much better
suited to support a greater number of commissary-eligible
patrons in the region.
With five regular checkouts and four self-checkouts,
the new store is more than twice the size of
the previous one, which was built in 1959, and has
a larger stock assortment — 18,000 items — along
with a delicatessen and bakery.
With high ceilings and wide aisles, the new energy-efficient and environment-friendly commissary
is also designed to provide an up-to-date, pleasant
shopping experience. “We’re entering a new era for
the commissary benefit with our new store.”
The store is “Way different … . We waited two
hours today for this to open; it was worth the wait.
This store has all we need,” said customers, Spec. Manny Gines, ARNG, and his wife, Marta.
EXPRESS — “This day has been a long time
coming, and it’s a thrill to finally
make it official,” AAFES’s Ronny Rexrode, AAFES Eastern Region Vice President, told the first patrons to enter the
new hybrid Express store, which
was built using $4.3 million of nonappropriated
funds from Exchange
The new Express houses a profoundly
expanded assortment compared
with a regular AAFES Express
store. Among the store’s features are
a Military Clothing (MC) section, an outdoor living
section, and an electronics area, barber shop and
Class Six store.
For Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Nicole Bochter of the 171st Air Refueling Wing, shopping at the
Express means saving money on items for her young
family. “I’m a frequent shopper, and we’ve waited
for years for a store like this … You can’t beat the
tax-free savings especially on electronics. Our community
is better off for having this facility,” she said. ...
Paquette’s New Role Reflects NEXCOM Omni-Channel Focus
VIRGINIA BEACH — Effective Oct. 1, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM)
promoted Tess Paquette from senior vice president
(SVP), chief merchandising officer (CMO) to executive vice president
(EVP), chief merchandising and marketing officer. The move
echoes the recent expansion of NEXCOM’s retail strategy in a
more omni-channel direction. ...
NEXCOM Breaks Ground for Hqs. Building Expansion
VIRGINIA BEACH — On Oct. 21, the Navy Exchange Service Command
(NEXCOM) held a groundbreaking ceremony
for a 33,000-square-foot addition to its headquarters
building here. The project is scheduled to be completed
in fall 2016.
“When NEXCOM moved into its headquarters
building in 1993, we had 380 associates,” said Rear
Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), NEXCOM’s
chief executive officer (CEO). “Today, there are almost
1,000 NEXCOM associates in Hampton Roads and
more than half work in our headquarters building.” ...
Fourth Quarter Jump Drives DeCA 2014 Sales
FORT LEE — Buoyed by a resurgent fourth quarter, the Defense
Commissary Agency (DeCA) recorded sales of
more than $5.6 billion during its recently concluded
fiscal 2014. While the final fiscal year-end tally was
around 4 percent less than the previous year, the
results belied an increase in sales during the July
through September period as case-lot sales resumed
in CONUS, accompanied by a more than 3-percent
increase in transactions.
With some sales trends headed back in a more
positive direction, DeCA Director Joseph Jeu told
members of industry at a recent annual conference
with resale and industry executives that his sales
goal for the agency for 2015 is $5.8 billion, and that
his stretch goal is $6 billion — the agency’s most
recent sales high-water mark last reached in 2012. ...
Hybki Recognized with ALA Lifetime Achievement Award
WASHINGTON — Known for his unfailing sense of humor, perspicacity,
and sense of honor, Robert C.“Bob” Hybki, who
retired this past summer from ConAgra Foods as its vice
president (VP), Customer Development, Military, was
recognized for his long-standing dedication to protecting
and enhancing servicemembers’ and families’ military
resale benefits with the American Logistics Association’s
(ALA) Lifetime Achievement Award during the association’s
annual Awards Dinner, Oct. 29, at the Hyatt
Regency Capitol Hill here.
According to ALA President Patrick B. Nixon, the
board of directors bestows the award on an individual
“whose leadership and outstanding commitment to providing
quality-of-life benefits for U.S. military personnel
and their families has been nothing short of exemplary.”...
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) welcomed a modern era of shopping for military
families here when the ribbon was cut Oct. 17 on a
renovated Exchange, the store’s first remodel in 14
years. More than $5 million in improvements were
made to the facility using earnings from AAFES
patron purchases. The store, which recorded nearly
$41 million in sales during fiscal 2013, now sports
a fully updated look and category assortment both
inside and out.
Commissary Coupon Redemptions
Slip in Fiscal 2014
WASHINGTON — During fiscal 2014, for the fourth fiscal year in
a row, overall coupon redemptions and coupon
total dollars redeemed fell in Defense Commissary
Agency (DeCA) stores.
The overall quantity of coupons patrons used
during their commissary shopping visits dropped
10.48 percent to 89.16 million (see chart), only the
second time since fiscal 2006 that this number has
dropped below the 100-million mark.
Read more News ...
THE EXCHANGE: Critical Mission Support
Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox, USAF,
Exchange Board Chair
With a strong family connection to the military and the Army & Air Force Exchange
Service (AAFES), Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and
Services Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox has for the last 10 months been in the primary
oversight role for the Exchange as its board chairman. He also serves as a member of
the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Board.
With a perspective unique to the Air Force’s chief personnel officer and also as
a military brat in an Air Force and AAFES family, Cox spoke with E and C News in
this exclusive interview, not only about the challenging course AAFES must navigate
through the current waters of fiscal austerity, but also about the brighter possibilities
that lie before it, the dedication of exchange personnel and the Exchange’s enduring
connection with industry ...
E and C News: AAFES has
a long and distinguished record
of downrange support. As
far as the Air Force and Army
are concerned, where does the
Exchange stand in importance
to smooth and effective functioning
of Army and Air Force
operations around the world,
in support of their professional
Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox, USAF: You are right;
the Exchange does have a distinguished record of
supporting Soldiers and Airmen in contingency operations.
They set up a store in Baghdad within days
of the arrival of U.S. troops. The Exchange stayed to
the end in Iraq. At its height, the Exchange operations
in Iraq had more than 650 facilities, services
When military members deploy, the Exchange
is with them. Today, the Exchange serves Soldiers,
Airmen, Sailors and Marines throughout Afghanistan.
Since 9/11, more than 4,300 Exchange associates
have deployed. These are people who voluntarily
leave the comfort of their own homes and families
to provide for others. They are “family serving family,”
and the services they provide are critical to our
Armed Forces’ ability to fulfill their mission.
The Exchange has an important role for all our
overseas bases. The Exchange is more than just the
main store on base. The Exchange serves 4 million
school lunches at overseas Department of Defense
(DoD) schools, bakes 3 million loaves of American-style
bread and bottles 5 million gallons of Culligan
water. These services, along with American-branded
restaurants, provide Soldiers and Airmen a taste of
home. Wherever servicemembers and their families
are called to serve, Exchange support is a part of
the mission. As a result, Exchange operations are
an important part of the recruitment, retention and
equipping of the entire military community. ...
Read More LT. GEN. SAMUEL COX, USAF,
EXCHANGE BOARD CHAIR INTERVIEW ...
JB MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. — The Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Army have
found common ground — literally — as the
Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) partnered with Marine Corps Community Services
(MCCS) to sell Navy uniforms inside a Marine Corps
Exchange (MCX) … on a joint base with the Army
in Arlington, Va.
The grand opening of the new MCX Henderson
Hall third floor retail store addition here, along with
a new NEX Uniform Center, were the stars of the
show, as approximately 120 servicemembers, officials
and guests celebrated the opening of one of
resale’s long-awaited projects serving patrons in the
National Capital Region.
Among those participating in the grand opening
of the new MCX Henderson Hall third floor retail
store addition, and the new NEX Uniform Center,
were Robert J. Bianchi, NEXCOM chief executive
officer (CEO); then-Deputy Director Marine
Corps NAF Business Services and Support Division
(NAFBSSD) Cindy Whitman Lacy, who is now the
division’s director; Col. Anthony S. Barnes, commanding
officer (C.O.), Headquarters and Service
(H&S) Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson
Hall; Roger G. Weger, MCCS Henderson
Hall director; Michelle Cole, NEX Uniform Center
manager; and Bette Stolarun, MCCS Henderson Hall retail director.
Read more NEX UNIFORM CENTER OPENS IN NEW MCX HENDERSON HALL THIRD FLOOR ADDITION ...
MCX BIG GAME
Thirst Building Up for Snack Bowl Sales
“We believe that our Marines and their families
enjoy the Super Bowl promotions, in
particular at the locations that are able to create fun
and interactive displays,” said MCX Non-Alcoholic
Beverage Buyer Joe Cella.
Leading up to the 2015 contest, the MCX runs
its annual Super Bowl Ad and Sale Event from Jan.
22 to Feb. 2.
“We are sharing an ad page with Food Buyer
Ashley Davis that we are calling ‘Super Snack Bowl,’
featuring super pricing on snacks and drinks our
Marines and their families can enjoy while watching
the game,” Cella said. ...
‘Elastic Effect’ for 2015 Big Game
Marine Corps Exchange (MCX)
Beer Buyer Rich Daniel related
to E and C News that the MCX’s assortment
experiences a good lift in
beer sales to qualified patrons during
the period leading up to the Big Game.
“Like most major events and seasons,
we see the traditional pick-up in business,”
he noted. “”This is an event that
has an elastic effect for a two-week
period, consisting of the week prior
to and the week of the Super Bowl.””
As of early October, Daniel said that the exchange
was finalizing the details for the holiday
season, and was currently “crafting the elements”
for the January-to-March time frame, including the
Big Game period in late January and early February.
“We will participate with all national and related
regional sale pricing and promotions,” Daniel said.
“Our endcaps and stack-outs will be reflective of
the prioritized brands that are the most meaningful
to our customers. We also ensure our partners can
provide tastings as a part of our new-item launches
and big-brand pushes during the period.”
Read more MCX BIG GAME ...