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Highlights of the January 2018 Issue


NDAA Puts Kibosh on Duplicative Resale Studies


WASHINGTON — The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal 2018 (H.R. 2810), signed into law Dec. 12 by the President, effectively put the kibosh on yet another study of military resale that it deemed to add little of use to existing studies and already programmed and ongoing reforms.

The House and Senate Conference Report (115- 404) on the final negotiated defense authorization bill said that in light of the “extensive reports already required by Congress and delivered” by the Department of Defense (DoD) in this area, and “the enactment of cost saving measures as recommended by those reports,” the House and Senate conferees “believe there is little additional benefit to be gained by requiring the Department to submit another report assessing methods of achieving cost savings in ”

The study proposed, and submitted in a House amendment by Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) to section 632 and offered up in an almost identical proposal in the Senate by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), would have required a report “regarding management practices of military commissaries and exchanges,” along with a cost-benefit analysis with a goal of reducing the operational costs of commissaries and exchanges by $2 billion in fiscal years 2018 through 2022 while ’costs. ...

DeCA Names MD Personnel


FORT LEE — The Defense Commissary Agency’s (DeCA) made several appointments in its recently formed Marketing Directorate (MD), which is headed by Hector Granado.

Michael Pulley, Zone 29 manager based at Fort Bragg South, N.C., was named the directorate’s new supervisor for Marketing and Promotions.

Also, Dave Leffert, the category manager responsible for Direct Store Delivery Bread and Snacks in the agency’s Sales Directorate (SD) was named the new Resets and Planograms supervisor in the MD. A DeCA spokesman said that Leffert will be dual hatted as DSD category manager while a search for his successor as category manager is ongoing. ...

Esper Maps Out Priorities, Questions Commissary Produce Prices


CAMP HUMPHREYS, Korea — According to reports, Mark Esper, who was confirmed as 23rd Secretary of the Army (SECUSA) on Nov. 15 and was sworn into the position on Nov. 21, had several questions “Town Hall” meeting here at the base.

Esper reportedly spoke about quality-of-life issues during the meeting, including making observations about the base commissary.

According to reports, Esper responded to complaints from some in attendance about high commissary grocery prices versus those that could be found in open-air markets. In response, he was reported as suggesting that small/local grocers should be allowed to set up stalls on post and sell their wares on the installation. Such an initiative was purportedly already being explored at the base, in response to ’s office. ...

VCS Introduces E-Commerce Platform for VA Veterans


ST. LOUIS — The Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) has partnered with internet retailer GovX to introduce an e-commerce platform for Veterans enrolled in Department of Veterans Affairs

According to the VCS, this new program — which is scheduled to launch in fall 2018 and will be open to authorized VCS customers only — is slated to feature a wide variety of products and specific services catering to the VA

It will streamline the ordering process with online payment and fulfillment, and the new site will also allow for what the canteen service described as “a more dynamic and mobile-friendly experience,” as all products are accessible

“We are extremely excited and proud to collaborate with GovX to expand shopping benefits to millions of Veterans and their family members,” said VCS Executive “Ray” Tober.

“Our partnership will provide our authorized customers a 24-hour online shopping platform which they have earned and deserve,” he continued. “Most importantly, proceeds from these purchases will be given back to the Veteran community in support of VA programs such as National ...

FY17 Coupon Redemptions Dip by Nearly 17 Percent


FORT LEE — Fiscal 2017 figures provided by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) show that the steady decline in redemptions and dollars saved by patrons using coupons in commissaries continued during the recently concluded fiscal year, even while the average savings per coupon redeemed once again increased.

In addition, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as “food stamps,” and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program also saw continued downward trends during fiscal 2017, with transactions and total redemption dollars in each area declining, while average dollars per transaction decreased in SNAP but increased in WIC. ...


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AAFES Named 'Retailer of the Year' by CE Distributor


FORT LEE — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) was selected as “Retailer of the Year” by New Age Electronics, a leading distributor of consumer electronics and gaming products and services.

According to the Exchange, the “Retailer of the Year” award winner is chosen based on several measures, including “year-over-year revenue growth; close executive alignment; strategic partnership; sourcing of multiple brands, and a consistent positive credit standing.”

In addition to meeting these criteria, the Exchange said it was recognized for expanding its offerings with New Age Electronics, and for “developing new and innovative ways to market and sell the distributor’s products to consumers in stores and online.”

AAFES noted that it was also recognized for opening its website to all honorably discharged military personnel via the Veterans online shopping benefit (VOSB). ...

Ships Store Sales Supercharge USS Bataan’s MWR Fund


NORFOLK — Powered by sales generated by its Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) ships store, the USS Bataan’s (LHD-5) supply department donated a check for $110,000 to the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office on Nov. 2, bringing its total donation to MWR this year to $210,000. In the photo, Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Sherese Oliphant makes a sale to a customer in the USS Bataan ships store.

This was the second time this year that the supply department’s sales and services division (S-3) donated a check of this magnitude to MWR. This significant achievement was made possible by funds collected from items purchased through the ships store and ship vending machines from June to November.

In June, the S-3 division donated $100,000 from sales made from February through May. Chief Ship’s Serviceman Wendy Davis, the leading chief petty officer for S-3 division, said that she is extremely proud of her division, and points out that the donation never would have been possible without her division’s shipmates’ hard work and dedication. “It’s another huge accomplishment for S-3,” Davis said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of professionals.” ...

MCX/MCCS’s Hoover Recognized for 50 Years of Service to Marines


MCB CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — From helping Marines purchase furniture for their homes to seeing them leave and return from major conflicts in this century and the last, Susan Hoover has been part of Marines’ lives in many different ways since she began her long and caring career 50 years ago.

Whether setting up tables of hot dogs, warm cookies and pizza to welcome Marines retuning home from Iraq, staffing the cash register, or ensuring Marines can get gasoline on base when they need it, Hoover has been taking care of these servicemembers since she started work as a sales clerk serving Marines during the Vietnam War era, in 1967. ...


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‘On-the-Go’ Items Set Pace for Healthy Lifestyle


Multivitamins, pre-workout and intra-workout beverages, branch chain amino acids (BCAA) products and a growing “On the Go” sports nutrition segment, which includes such items as protein cookies, have been setting the pace in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) vitamins and supplements assortment.

Exchange Sports Nutrition and Vitamins Buyer Amber Seibert reported strength in a series of categories through Oct. 31. In particular, multivitamins, energy bars and pre-workout ready-todrink (RTD) shakes/beverages have posted strong sales numbers thus far during the fiscal year, while letter vitamins and minerals and sports nutrition powder supplements have struggled to keep pace into the fourth quarter.

All told, Seibert said that supplements were up 3 percent in dollars and 7 percent in units through the end of October. However, through the same period, the sales performance of letter vitamins/minerals had been greatly impacted by a voluntary recall of private label items.

“We were out of stock for several weeks while the issue was corrected, and new product was shipped back to stores,” Seibert said, adding that 12 percent of total sales within vitamins/supplements is generated by private label products. ...



Well-Known Brands Vitalize Exchange, MWR Foodservice Venues


Foodservice facilities in exchange and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) portfolios on U.S. military bases around the world do their operators right proud. Nearly 3,000 facilities, ranging from sports activity snack bars and food court grab ‘n’ go to coffee shops and sit-down restaurants representing many popular cuisines, generate almost $2 billion a year in revenue.

In fiscal year 2016, exchange services and MWR agencies in the Defense Department operated or oversaw more than 2,902 foodservice outlets that rang up $1.802 billion, according to Government Food Service magazine. Of these venues, more than 1,700, turning in the bulk of the revenue, are recognized national or regional branded outlets.

Though changes occur periodically in specific brands on different installations, the overall picture has remained fairly steady for the past three years, despite shifts in troop strengths and without regard to deployments and realignments, varying less than 2 percent a year.

Including FY16’s Coast Guard 25-restaurant revenue of $5.5 million and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) sales of $176.3 million from its 349 foodservice units (189 PatriotCafes and 160 PatriotBrew coffee locations), the military resale system toted up $1,984.4 million in 3,276 foodservice outlets. ...



AAFES Brings Touch of Home to Battle Group Poland


BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland — Since the end of last March, 1,000 Soldiers serving as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Poland — which now encompasses four battle groups including the one here — have appreciated the presence of an Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Mobile Field Exchange (MFE) trailer parked on this Polish installation.

The MFE has brought personal care essentials, sundries, cold drinks, microwavable meals and electronics — including televisions and Xboxes — to U.S. troops at Bemowo Piskie Training Area (BPTA), which is just 100 miles from the Russian border.

While the Exchange has MFEs and troop stores positioned to support Soldiers in sync with the Army’s mission in Eastern Europe, the trailer at BPTA was the first of its kind to serve U.S. troops supporting this NATO mission.

“The Exchange’s service at the tip of the spear represents the very best of what we do,” said Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Shull. “We are all-in to support Soldiers serving with NATO’s Battle Group Poland to ensure they remain ready and resilient. Familiar products and a warm smile can make home seem not so far away.” ...



DeCA Fiscal 2017 Million-Dollar Vendors


Each of the following 194 companies received more than $1 million in payments from the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) during fiscal year 2017, which ended Sept. 30, 2017. In most cases, payments made to divisions or subsidiaries of corporations appear under the corporate name. Such listings have been consolidated and are included as one sum here; asterisks indicate consolidated listings. Dollar volume shown for brokers, distributors and buy/sell firms generally reflects only amounts paid specifically to those firms and does not include payments made directly to their principals, which in many cases represent the bulk of their sales. ...





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