January is always a great time to reflect on the successes and challenges of the past 12 months as goals and expectations are set for the coming year. Simply put, January is a clean slate that offers 365 days of opportunities.
A year to remember
2017 was one to remember for the talented and dedicated associates who gave their all to accomplish truly extraordinary feats. This time last year, the Exchange learned an effort near and dear to our director/CEO’s heart—the Veterans online shopping benefit—had finally received Department of Defense concurrence.
The 11 months leading up to the program’s official launch on Veterans Day included a whirlwind of activity that touched every aspect of our business, including Logistics, Merchandising, Information Technology, Human Resources and, of course, e-Commerce.
Further improving the experience at ShopMyExchange.com is 70 Ship-from-Store locations, including seven collocated Military Clothing locations that recently came online. Ship-from-Store enables us to more quickly deliver products to customers at a speed of service they expect. Many thanks to all of you who worked so hard to make this improved capability a reality.
2017 also marked the launch of MILITARY STAR® card acceptance at all commissaries. Just weeks after the rollout of this expanded service began at Fort Lee in October, nearly 80,000 unique customers had used their MILITARY STAR cards to buy more than $13.7 million in groceries at 237 commissaries around
The convenience MILITARY STAR card acceptance offers authorized shoppers, combined with the capacity to generate additional earnings for Quality-of-Life programs, including combat uniforms at cost, Army Child Development Centers, Air Force Outdoor Recreation programs and affordable school lunches for Warfighters’ children overseas, is a win-win for the military community and commissary.
“The financial results across the organization were impressive in 2017, but what moves me even more than the outstanding results is the way our associates truly demonstrate Family Serving Family.”
Our Europe team continued to expand support of Warfighters at the tip of the spear by expanding the mission to Eastern Europe, recording 237,000 transactions at training exercises throughout Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. In the Pacific, the Exchange supported training exercises and accelerated the opening of the Camp Humphreys’ shopping center by four months to open Nov. 20, ensuring the Exchange was ready to serve military members and their families in Korea during the holiday season.
The financial results across the organization were impressive in 2017, but what moves me even more than the outstanding results, is the way our associates truly demonstrated Family Serving Family.
Last year, a series of natural disasters devastated areas our associates and customers call home. Hurricane Harvey in August and Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September wreaked havoc on the United States. Our team banded together, donating time, vacation leave, materials and money to support those who needed it most. The response you provided our customers was exceptional. The selfless sacrifice was a reminder of the passion Exchange associates bring to their work each and
In December, the annual Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland shopping event took place, where trainees in Air Force Basic Military Training enjoy holiday cheer while shopping for friends and family. The Lackland store rolls out the red carpet to make this a special moment for the trainees and their families to remember. There are no words to describe how my heart swells with pride as young service members experience a taste of home only the Exchange can provide.
As we enter 2018 together, we will create another banner year for service members and their families. We will continue to promote the Veterans online shopping benefit near and far to ensure all honorably discharged Veterans know of their new earned benefit and receive the homecoming they truly deserve. We will work to stand up 40 additional Ship-from-Store locations to make pick, pack, ship same day a reality at even more of our stores. We will continue to focus on our strategic priorities to further grow the Express, intensify national brands, and develop and inspire future leaders who are passionate about serving all who serve and have served.
And lastly, we will meet our operating result goals to protect and provide the dividend so deservedly earned by our service members and their families.
This year, I am again fortunate to stand alongside you. Thank you for all you did to make the Exchange the best it could be in 2017. Thank you for all you will do to further strengthen the benefit we are honored to provide our military community in 2018.