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NEWS | Feb. 4, 2014

Commissary reset improves shopping experience

By Joint Base Charleston - Air Base Commissary

The Joint Base Charleston - Air Base Commissary will close at 4 p.m. Feb. 23, 2014, while it undergoes a "reset" as part of the Defense Commissary Agency's ongoing effort to enhance the shopping experience. The store will re-open Feb. 26, at normal hours.

"We hate to inconvenience our customers with the closure, but this is something we'll all appreciate when it's done," said Eddie Williams, store director.

The reset is part of an agency-wide program that systematically changes how products are displayed on shelving throughout a Commissary in order to better serve customer shopping patterns. The goal is to give Commissaries worldwide a more customer-friendly product flow and a layout that is as consistent as possible from location to location, according to Darnell Hicks, Team Lead (Resets) DeCA's Store Operation Team.

"Although we have to take into consideration that no two commissaries are constructed exactly alike, a customer-friendly product flow means dog food will be next to pet supplies instead of the charcoal, peanut butter is best found next to the jam, and you shouldn't have to cruise three different aisles to find all your cleaning products. It's a simple matter of making the commissary layout more sensible by resetting the store," Hicks said.

DeCA is intent on making the Commissary shopping experience faster and easier ... making the Commissary the place to shop every day, not just on pay day. One of the priorities is to help busy, active-duty shoppers make a quick run through their Commissary and get home more quickly.

The idea, is to put convenience into the shopping experience. Consistency is also part of the reset equation. Shoppers should be able to go to different Commissaries and find basically the same layout.

"We try not to inconvenience the customers while resetting stores, but we often have to close the store for a day, sometimes two, in order to tear down the shelving and move it and restock," said Williams. "Our customers usually like the new layout once they get used to it. Sales increases always follow a store reset and that's an indication that the user-friendly product flow is a good change."

To make changes easier for customers to follow, stores have aisle layout maps available as well as generic item locators on their Web pages. Store
Web pages are under the locations link at along with store hours, contact information, store news and special customer service features.