At ALA Convention, Shull Outlines 5-Year Plan for Building Earnings

Director/CEO Tom Shull addresses the American Logistics Association convention in Orlando, Fla.


ORLANDO, Fla. – Director/CEO Tom Shull outlined the Department of Defense retailer’s plan for strengthening the hard-earned Exchange benefit for Warfighters and families, including plans to build earnings to $1.2 billion during the next five years, at the annual American Logistics Association convention.

“This will take hard work, but this team will make it happen,” Shull told the convention audience, which included leaders from the Exchange and other military resale organizations.

ALA is a nonprofit trade association that promotes, protects and enhances quality-of-life benefits for service members, military retirees and military families. Shull was among military resale leaders addressing the attendees Sept. 24.

Shull highlighted baseline programs for growth, including:

  • Revenue and margin initiatives
  • Customer intelligence and marketing
  • Veterans online shopping benefit
  • Mall services, especially health and wellness

Other planned efficiencies include use of robotics and artificial intelligence as well as indirect cost reductions, Shull said.

Opening the Exchange to service-connected disabled Veterans and Common Access Card holders, growing MILITARY STAR card use at commissaries and collaborating with sister exchanges will also drive revenue growth.

Shull also briefed ALA convention attendees on the Exchange’s successes, including contributing $6 billion in cash to the military community through improvements to stores, Quality-of-Life dividend, debt reduction and pension plan contributions.

The Exchange is more efficient than ever, Shull said. Compared to 2011, the Exchange achieved a near doubling of earnings as a percent of sales (from 3.2% to 5.8%). The Exchange now leads Walmart and Target in this key metric.

“Success is about making a difference every day to the Warfighters and their families,” Shull said. “We have passion in our ranks. Our associates are the key. They care. They are part of the military family. And that’s why they get results like this.”

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  1. Rick Vietor on September 25, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    I guess you could say all Military personnel and their families are “Warfighters” since they, regardless of their function, deter aggression or support the wars the U.S. is fighting. But, a wish that we didn’t refer to our Soldiers and Airmen as Warfighters since they do so much more than that … I like to think we’re a peace loving country and that the military, though necessary as a strong deterrent to enemy aspirations, do so much more for our nation than just Warfighting; that they are so much more than simply Warfighters … a name that seems to diminish the entirety of who they are and what they do. They’re U.S. Citizens, serving as U.S. Military Personnel, and Families.

    • Steve Smith on September 26, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Mr. Vietor:

      Thank you so much for writing to your Exchange Post. I truly appreciate your taking the time to write. I am forwarding your comments along to the appropriate people.

      Again, thanks, for writing! Let me know if I can be of further assistance,

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

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