Military Exchange Electronics Expo: Joining Forces For Our Warfighters
The Exchange’s annual seminar for Power Zone associates is leveling up this year—and Warfighters and their families will be the winners.
More than 450 managers and associates from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Navy Exchange Service Command, Marine Corps Exchange and the Coast Guard Exchange are gathering from Aug. 19 to Aug. 23 in Chesapeake, Va., for the Military Exchange Electronics Expo (ME3).
The theme “One Family, One Mission” highlights the collaborative spirit that has long existed among the exchanges to benefit service members and military families.
“This year’s expo is a milestone,” said Divisional Merchandise Manager Randy McKinley, who helped plan the seminar. “The exchanges have a history of working together for the good for the military community, but this conference marks the first time our electronics teams are synching up in one place to learn from each other so we can better serve the best customers in the world.”
Electronics, including TVs, computer hardware and major appliances, are among the Exchange’s best-sellers in store and online. Last year, electronics accounted for more than $788 million in sales.
Throughout the week, associates will learn about the newest products and selling techniques from more than 50 vendors, including Apple, Samsung, MSI, Sony and more, just in time for the critical holiday selling season. Smart home devices, gaming and TVs, particularly 8K, are expected to be hot sellers this year.
“We are working hard to stock the products today’s shoppers are demanding,” said buyer Nanette Bernard. “Controlling appliances and other devices from smartphone apps has taken off. And, as a result, sales of smart home products—doorbells, cameras, voice-controlled speakers and more—have increased nearly 50% year to date in 2019.”
The popularity of gaming laptops, systems and accessories continues, but the importance of esports to the Army’s recruiting and retention efforts makes this category more crucial than ever.
“The Army has embraced esports and gaming as ways to increase retention and boost morale,” said buyer Dennis Robertson. “Gaming will play a major role in the Exchange’s Power Zone of the future, showcasing our relevancy and commitment to meeting the needs of those who serve.”
Buyers from all four military exchanges will be able to trade ideas and tips with one another throughout the week. ME3 will also include:
- Battle of the Branches gaming tournament (watch live on the Exchange’s Facebook page).
- Guest speakers, including Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association.
- Vendor awards.
“It’s going to be a terrific week,” McKinley said. “When we all work together, so much good can be done for service members and their families.”