Associates Make Black Friday Weekend Merry, Bright for Customers

Fort Leonard Wood’s Sue Marble and troops who couldn’t go home for Thanksgiving.

Exchange associated shined during Thanksgiving weekend, making their stores destinations for holiday shoppers, with great deals, promotions and events for War fighters and their families.

(This Flickr album chronicles the Black Friday fun from all the Exchange regions.)

Throughout the weekend, stores captured the excitement on social media. Some highlights include:

Associates at Andersen AFB in Guam and Camp Zama in Japan welcoming shoppers bright and early on Black Friday.

Santa arriving at Kaiserslautern Military Community Center’s Exchange at Germany’s Ramstein AB.

The festive atmospheres at Little Rock AFB, Ark., Fort Gordon, Ga., and Fort Irwin, Calif.

Thanksgiving: serving those who serve

At Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., on Thanksgiving Day, associates were grateful for the opportunities to serve new military members who had no family in town and had to stay on the installation.

“Today is truly about serving those who serve, and the Fort Leonard Wood associates stepped up,” HR Manager Sue Marble said. “There was no shortage of volunteers, and many told me that the honor was theirs.”

Marble even talked with a man and 20 family members—three generations of military—who came to see his great-grandson graduate from military training.

“He asked me to take photos, and it was my privilege,” Marble said. “It was the start of a lifelong connection. It was a fine day to be an Exchange associate.”

Simone Johnson of Fort Meade’s Boston Market worked on Thanksgiving Day preparing take-home meals for customers.

‘Dedication and eagerness’

At Fort Meade, Md., Boston Market’s Simone Johnson made Thanksgiving meals for customers to pick up. The restaurant made an extra $1,800 in sales on holiday meals because of her “dedication and eagerness to serve our military families,” said Food Court Manager Anne Chester.

Associates at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., picked, packed and shipped 900 online orders during Black Friday weekend.

Davis-Monthan associates kept the mobile field exchange open on Thanksgiving Day to serve troops deployed near the border. Another MFE in Donna, Texas, stayed open to serve other troops  near the border.

“We were open on Thanksgiving Day to support the troops since they are not able to go off base,” said Davis-Monthan General Manager Mikel Hunter. “We celebrated Thanksgiving with the troops. They were thankful for us being open and giving out cake.”

‘Lots of curiosity’

At the Waco Distribution Center in Texas, associates who fulfill ShopMyExchange.com orders gathered around a spread of delicious food “in appreciation for their spending Thanksgiving serving our customers,” said DC Manager Preston Huddy.

At Grafenwoehr’s main store in Germany, the local AFN Bavaria radio station made announcements during the week leading up to Black Friday to entice listeners with “hints of things to come,” said Chris Litch, visual merchandise manager.

“Associates had gift-wrapped pallets throughout the store,” Litch said. “We had displayed a large backdrop with the special sale flyers for ease of viewing. We had daily Facebook postings on MILITARY STAR specials. We opened the mall doors at 6 a.m. with Christmas music playing throughout. Our bakery, Bun-D restaurant and Starbucks provided pastries, coffee and breakfasts.

“Our customers were truly excited . . . and so were our associates.”

Stay tuned to the Exchange Post news about the Exchange’s financial performance during the holiday weekend and Cyber Week.

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